MANAGE EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN DURING THE INCEPTION
First impressions are always important – this is your opportunity to make it count
You may find yourself in a room with 30 people you don’t know (some of whom may not want you there), or in a room with a small team you’ve worked with before.
This activity positions everything that follows. We manage expectations, allowing each person to understand how they fit in and how to plan their time. We start to build relationships, address worries and concerns and get participants to buy-in.
We want everyone in the room to understand the objective, how they can add value and why attending is important for them.
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS TO ORGANISATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS
Who is in the room and why?
Usually done by a client senior stakeholder.
This sets the scene as to why everyone is here. If done well it reinforces importance, provides focus, creates the necessary empowerment, clarifies boundaries and sets the basis for good collaboration.
An introduction of the various organisations and individuals ensures everyone understands why they (and everyone else) is participating, what they are expected to contribute, and what they can expect from the upcoming sessions.
Why are we doing an inception, and what is an inception in the first place?
As an explanation of why the inception was arranged, the overall goal here is to illustrate how we will go about achieving the objective.
What will be happening during the inception?
A top-level walkthrough of the inception schedule to manage participants’ expectations, clarify why and where individual participants are expected to attend, and to allow individuals to manage their time.
How will we make this work? What does good look like?
We share concepts of how we’ll approach the inception. This includes thoughts on interaction, collaboration, agile and iterative practices.
We cover aspects like the attendance needed, decision making frameworks we’ll use, mobile phone use during sessions, ensuring we work breadth-over-depth, that there’s an exchange of value, etc.
This is our chance to set expectations on the level of involvement and interaction participants should expect. It defines what good looks like, plus anti-patterns we may want to discourage.
What are the participants’ expectations, wishes and concerns?
Check and address participant expectations in regards to ways of working and outcomes. This is important, to ensure we’re not losing people before we have started.