How project team leaders can get a fast, strong start on learning & applying Blueprinting with a dedicated AIM coach.
Have you been tapped to lead a project team as it learns and applies New Product Blueprinting? Our goal is to help you lead a highly successful project and ensure your team members develop career-long skills for future projects. Here's a step-by-step plan on how you, the team leader, can work with the AIM coach dedicated to your success.
1. Team Leader prep-work: Your AIM Coach will schedule a short-web-conference to have with you (as team leader) before the two half-day "kickoff" workshop your team will attend. Before this private session with your coach, please check out these short webpages:
- Blueprinting Virtual Learning Model... This BlueHelp article describes the learning process.
- www.blueprintingtraining.com... This describes all the resources available to your team.
- www.blueprintingcoaching.com... See many ways your AIM coach can support your team.
2. Agenda for your AIM Coach meeting: At this pre-workshop meeting, you and the AIM coach will cover these points:
- Discuss project scope: Do you already have a tightly-focused market opportunity to pursue? (Then you can start with Blueprinter Step 2.) Or do you need to "step back" with your team to identify the market you'll target (starting with Blueprinter Step 1)? Your AIM coach will help with either case.
- Confirm team members: Successful teams are multi-functional, typically with 4-6 team members from marketing, product management, technical and sales. Team membership can depend on whether this is a regional or global project. If you need added members trained, your AIM coach can suggest options.
- Discuss "rules of engagement": Your coach will share practices that have helped other teams execute fast, successful projects while ensuring team members master new career-long skills. (See point #3 below.) You can decide which "rules" you want for your team.
- Schedule first team meeting: You and the AIM coach will schedule your team's first web-conference meeting now to occur after the workshop. This helps your team get a fast start... which we've learned is one of the strongest drivers of success.
3. Rules of engagement: Fast projects tend to be successful ones. When a project slows down, team members lose enthusiasm and forget workshop training... customers wonder why you "disappeared" after their first interview... and your team members may get re-assigned or change jobs. These practices ensure brisk, forward momentum:
- Before ending each team meeting, schedule the next web-conference with everyone. (This is our top rule for maintaining momentum and saves you unproductive time later.)
- If you don't need your AIM coach at your next meeting, schedule the next two sessions... so your coach can get this on his or her calendar.
- Keep a steady meeting cadence . We recommend every two weeks initially, which can be extended to every 3-4 weeks later. (Your coach will help you continue building impressive skills all during the Discovery phase... which is usually the longest.)
- Don't cancel a meeting because "we didn't get enough done since the last time." This is a recipe for losing momentum. Keep your meeting--even if it's short--to a) get coaching tips, b) confirm task commitments from team members, and c) schedule your next meeting.
- If you see obstacles to progress--such as members overwhelmed with other assignments--tell your coach and your team sponsor. Raising the caution flag isn't a sign of weakness: It shows you're willing to explore new approaches to get the job done.
4. Post-workshop prep-work: You and your team will attend 2 back-to-back half-day "kickoff" workshop sessions. This could be a public workshop, or a private workshop with just your company colleagues. Between this workshop and your first team meeting with your AIM coach, some prep-work can go a long way:
- If your first team meeting will be devoted to identifying a target market segment (Blueprinter Step 1), please review the BlueHelp articles at How to Select your Target Market Segment.
- If your first team meeting will be used to plan the companies you wish to interview (Blueprinter Step 2.1), please bring a list of prospects, and read the BlueHelp articles at How to Plan Discovery Interviews. Note: Your AIM coach will start this process now, and you can have a team member add the remaining interviewees later. This will allow time for your coach to guide your team on Current State questions and Trigger Maps.
5. First full-team meeting: At your first team web-conference, your AIM coach will help your team set up its project in Blueprinter software. A few points to note:
- Your coach cannot open or view your Blueprinter project for security reasons. This means a team member will be your note-taker and share his/her Blueprinter screen for all to see.
- The AIM coach will provide your note-taker with a 6-digit project Coaching Code to enter in your Blueprinter project. This will allow your coach to see "macro-data" such as the names of team members, number of interviews completed, etc... but not the names of companies interviewed, interview sticky notes, etc.
- Your coach will encourage all team members to pursue Blueprinting Practitioner and Blue Belt Certifications. You should too! For more see www.BlueprintingCertification.com.
Keywords: Blueprinting project, Blueprinting teams, New Product Blueprinting, Blueprinting Center, AIM Coach, web-conference, interview, AIM coach, in-team coaching, web-conference with AIM Coach, project scope, first team meeting, team leader