This is a classic business tool used to keep meetings and workshops focused on track. During discussions, questions will often emerge that are important but not fully relevant to the focus at the moment. These questions or issues are “parked” on a flipchart, to be addressed and answered later. This practice helps ensure that important questions do not get lost and that the group can stay focused on the most relevant things.
Ensure that important questions do not get lost and that the group can stay focused on the most relevant things
- Coloured Pens/Markers
- Flipchart Paper
- Making/scotch tape
At the start of a meeting or workshop explain to the group that we are going to use a “parking lot” to help the work more effectively.
Write a large “P” at the top of the flipchart paper and tape it to a prominent wall. Explain that whenever a point is raised or questions are asked that don’t directly relate to the subject or session, you will write it on a post-it note, and stick that onto the flipchart paper.
Invite group members also add to the parking lot at any time.
Use it throughout the meeting/workshop.
As the meeting/workshop comes to a close, ensure that there is time to address the points and questions on the parking lot, with the whole group.
If there are any questions left unanswered make sure that you or a group member follows them up.
Tips for running this activity online
- Pick an online whiteboard tool that allows you to use a large, zoomable canvas.
- Set up a section for parking lot notes.
- Invite participants to zoom in and add notes to the parking lot throughout the session.
- If you’re not using an online whiteboard, we’d recommend using a collaboration tool such as Google Docs as the parking lot.
- You can even create a parking lot document or shared board for use outside of the workshop. Great for asynchronous teams who work in different timezones.
Source: Hyper Island toolbox
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