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Question

How to prevent topic trailing?

Answer

The reasons why a group derails from a topic are context dependant. Therefore, it is hard to tackle this beforehand. However, there are some measures to take in the unfortunate event topic trailing arises.

Some tricks and tips:

  • Have a โ€˜parking spotโ€™ available for items that do not fit the current agenda. Make sure you introduced this method at the beginning of the session.
  • Redefine the agenda and objectives of the meeting or discussion.
  • Table any off-topic discussions for a later time by parking them on the parking spot. Always, always close the session with the items mentioned here and dedicate actions to it.
  • Simply continue working following the groupโ€™s main agenda.

Enjoy the ride!

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Written by Renate Cremer, Agile | SAFe | Associate Certified Coach (ICF -ACC)