“What’s for lunch?”

Outside of a free meal, the “company lunch” is a great forum for discussing any number of things. My personal favorite… Workflow.

Consider this. At what other time during the month, or quarter, will you have the opportunity to gather everyone on the team in a single place? This hour-long window is a great forum for “dissecting” your workflow process.

What’s working? What’s not working?

What problems are people running into on a daily basis?

What new steps would they like to see added to the process? removed?

How can you, as the Traffic Manager, make their jobs a bit easier?

Ask team members to think about the process before the luncheon and to jot down any concerns or questions they may have. It’s important, as both the Traffic Manager and the meeting’s facilitator, to have your own list prepared. Formulate answers ahead of time to the questions you think will be asked. Are there any training sheets you can prepare? Tips you’ll be able to offer? Perhaps even a Workflow Diagram you can lay out?

In the meeting room itself, consider setting up a projector and laptop with your project management system displayed. That way, when questions are raised, you can quickly navigate within the program, and offer suggestions.

Open forums such as this can quickly digress into “gripe sessions.” Maintain control of the discussion at all times, interjecting positive comments and examples. And, be sure to discuss your intentions for the meeting with the executives on your team (e.g. principal, creative director). Having their support is crucial to the success of both the meeting and your workflow process as a whole.

So, grab the take-out menu, fill the salt and pepper shakers and let’s eat!

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