Posted by OrganizationBuilders.

Tactical meeting variations

We frequently get feedback that Tactical meetings follow a strict process. Which is true – you can read it here (Article 4.2.3) as it is defined in the constitution. And it is not true – in this blog posts we want to share a couple of variations you can use within this process.

Lets take the meeting process step by step. And remember it's up to you to decide how you want to fill the tactical time you have as a circle.

The check-in

  • Min: Just give a thumbs up, a quick nod, say “check”
  • Max: Meditate for a minute and then share what got your attention

The pre-amble: checklists, metrics & project updates

It's there to build together a 'radar overview' of where the circle stands. But actually you could just skip-it. You have the option to include check-lists, metrics, project updates – but if they are not there then just let it go.

Checklists

By constitution are just quick yes/no’s. if you need more then maybe add it as a metric? Or it benefits better to be at the agenda. You could just trigger that with a checklist saying something like “is there news on topic X which I will put on the agenda to process?”

Metrics

  • Min: just share the numbers. Or not even that. Just show the dashboard on the screen and have people read it for a couple of seconds after which they can just by themselves add tensions to the agenda.
  • Max: role by role you give the metrics number from the dashboard and add a couple of comments to it why the number is the number – share what you believe is really interesting for the circle to know!

Project updates

  • Min: Say “no updates” or "will share info/need/action/... in separate agenda item"
  • Max: go project by project and really share the highs/lows of the progress you made. Typically amazing things happen when you are transparent about things that are not going so well.

Processing tensions

  • Min: Say "I want to inform the group that I have taken the following action ... "  - no discussion.

  • Max: Use the time to facilitate a group discussion on a particular topic. For these discussions it is very important to assure that spending this time adds value (is likely to) for all participants. If the topic only concerns a few of the participants, it is a better idea to book dedicated time for this topic outside of the tactical meeting.

Closing round

  • Min: "Great meeting"

  • Max: Lengthy reflection, possibly introducing new bits of information. 

Is this variation not yet enough for you? Then two more suggestions:

  • Anything that happens in the tactical meeting can be done outside the tactical meeting. You can share your metrics online, work out loud with a continuous stream of project updates on an open communication platform, and solve tensions as they occur between roles.
  • Check for example the Scrum app on the Holacracy Community Of Practice on how to adapt the tactical meeting to sync with a scrum way of working.