George Clark asked:
> Does anyone have other ideas for helping this team become more concrete
> on their agreements?
I've been working for the last couple of years with an analytical approach
that you might be interested in looking into. This approach focuses on
the specific interactions between people that constitute a 'process'. The
underlying assumption is that all processes (I think of a project as a
'process' that happens once!) consist of a chain of, what we call,
customer-provider interactions. A process occurs in order to satisfy a
customer (where a 'customer' may be any internal or external entity. (i.e.
paying-customers, stockholders, the state, employees, etc.)). By
explicitly identifying the customer-provider pairs and explicilty
identifying the interactions (conversations) between these individuals
which 'get the customer satisfied', the roles and
responsibilities/accountabilities can be defined in no uncertain terms.
In my experience, I have found that in the process of identifying not only
the explicit but also the implicit 'conversations' that underlie the
business 'process', many tacit assumptions are revealed. In a business
situation confusion may result from the inability to disentangle the
intertwined conversations/processes that an individual is involved with.
This approach is a powerful tool for visually mapping out the specific
interactions that individuals are involved in. It is based on
Language-Action theory (ala Winograd, Flores, Kensing, Lyytinen, and
Lehtinen) and embodied in the ActionWorkflow toolset. I'd be happy to
provide you with additional info, if you are interested.
-- Grant B. Harris Workframe, Inc. Cambridge, Massachusetts firstname.lastname@example.org