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Best Practices for Following Up After a Problem Solving Session – Part III

Best Practices for Following Up After a Problem Solving Session

This is Part III of a 3 part article on best practices for preparing for, leading and following up on a problem solving session. Please read Part I and Part II first.

Too often when we are done with a problem solving session and have begun to implement our solution (action plan) to the problem, we forget to follow up and check in. One of the first things I like to do after the session has ended (usually within a day) is to send around a brief online survey to ask how participants felt about the meeting and the process overall. I ask 3 simple questions:

  • What worked well?
  • What needs improvement to be more effective next time?
  • What else would you like to share?

Consider these best practice steps for following up on a problem solving session with your team:

Schedule a brief telephone call or face-to-face follow up meeting to do the following:

  • Thank participants again for their participation in the session.
  • Provide a summary of the results of the online survey.
  • Check in on progress toward the action plan.
  • Answer any questions that have arisen since the meeting ended and work has begun on the action plan.
  • Be prepared to address any issues that may have arisen in applying the solution to the problem and/or to get the right people together off line to resolve any other issues.

I always enable for some time prior to getting started for the group to “catch up” with each other through personal conversations.

These follow up sessions enable for continued progress toward the action plan to resolve the issue. If necessary, and especially for complex problems, I may have another follow up session within a 2 – 3 month timeframe.

In summary, carefully planning for, facilitating (leading) and following up after problem solving sessions enables for increased success in ensuring the session was productive and that action plans put in place are being acted upon.

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