We’ve all sat in a meeting at some point that we feel could have been a simple email. Or maybe we’ve been involved in a bunch of one on one meetings throughout the week that could have been resolved quickly if the key parties involved all came together. Or how about being called into an “emergency” meeting for non-emergency issues. This type of communication happens often and if we are not careful as leaders we will find ourselves along with our team spending most of the workweek talking about what we are going to do, and less time putting the words into action.
As nonprofit leaders, it is important that we value our time and our team’s time in order to help us reach our organizational goals.
That’s why I love work sessions! Instead of typical meetings, our nonprofit holds weekly work sessions with our team to come together and work on our projects that require collaboration.
What is a work session?
As defined by the Project Management Institute, a work session is a highly organized, structured meeting with people who have a stake in the project with the purpose of “working” – wrestling through issues, making decisions, and documenting results – toward the production of a specific work product. [i]
How does our organization use work sessions?
Work sessions will look different for various entities. Our organization operates our works session as follows:
- We host the sessions once a week
- Ensure that those heavily involved in the projects being discussed are in attendance.
- We kick off the session by reviewing the projects that we will be diving into for the work session.
- We develop goals for what needs to be completed during the work session and what needs to be completed by the next work session.
- Then we get to work simultaneously working on our portions of the projects and being available to support one another along the way.
Doing this allows us to:
- Come ready to work – We come into the session equipped and ready to get to work.
- Ready to collaborate – Reduces the number of meetings throughout the week because we know the sessions will be coming up and is an opportunity to work through portions of projects that require multiple team members.
- Leave feeling accomplished – Walk out of the session feeling a sense of accomplishment from completing the tasks during the session.
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[i] “Accelerating Your Project Using Facilitated Work Sessions.” Accelerating Your Project Using Facilitated Work Sessions, https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/accelerating-project-using-facilitated-work-sessions-7420.