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If Project Updates why not action follow-up in Tactical Meetings?

Coming from not Holacracy to Holacracy in my organisation recently, in my role of Facilitator of Tactical Meetings for our General Circle, there's a best practice from not Holacracy that doesn't seem to be present in Holacracy and it's causing a tension in me!

Taking an example of a not Holacracy organisation - in the equivalent of a Tactical Meeting, the minutes record actions. As meeting chair, an early meeting activity is to review the actions agreed last time or agreed in previous meetings and their status - that way actions get tracked and followed-through - there's continuity of intent across meetings. This is a particularly important discipline for Board Meetings.

It seems flakey to me that if a triaged issue was worthy enough to lead to an action recorded in a meeting then not to follow it's path to completion, abandonment or somewhere in-between damages the integrity of the Circle progressing its purpose.

As role holders are asked by the Facilitator "Any updates?" when it comes to Projects, what's Holacracy best practice/other experiences and practices when it comes to actions accepted in previous meetings?

Any comments very welcome!

Andrew

6 Replies
Tom Mulder
09/01/2017

Article 4.1.1. (a) shows the obligation what you need to do when you have accepted a Project or a Next-Action.

Any Circle Member can, at any time, ask you to provide insight on the Projects and Next-Actions that you have accepted. Then the relative priority comes to play. Each Member decides, based on the rules set in Article 4.1.3, how to energize his personal resources. Based on this the Member can give Projections (Art. 4.1.1.(c) on the open Projects or Next-Actions.

Hope this helps.

Andrew Scott
09/01/2017

Hi Tom

I appreciate your reply and I get it. However, I personally appreciate it when I know that there is an accountability moment in meeting coming. It seems to me that Project Updates serve this purpose because everyone in the Circle gets to hear whether anything has changed on a project and as a consequence raise an issue to be triaged if they're feeling a tension because of a lack of progress. If this is true of Projects why is not true for individual actions? This seems like a logic flaw to me.

Regards,

Andrew

Tom Mulder
09/04/2017

Andrew, not all Projects are on the Project Updates. Only if a role feels that it need to be shared or an other Circle Member has requested it, they are part of the Project Updates. So it is not true for all Projects.

Having that said we want to have transparency and that is why the obligations are defined in article 4.1.

Andrew Scott
09/04/2017

Thanks Tom. I'll experiment with the same basis for action updates as project updates - only if a role feels that it needs to be shared or another Circle Member has requested it.

I appreciate and wish to honour the sovereignty principle mentioned in this recent thread - ...olacracy-is-based-on  

Brian Robertson
09/04/2017

Hi Andrew - I actually recommend against this practice; there are better ways to encourage ownership and follow-through that don't suffer from the downsides of this approach.  Those downsides can be summed up by creating a pressure towards what David Allen calls "chasing the latest and loudest" - it creates a strong push for people to do those next-actions that came from tactical, even when they aren't the most important actions to do.  If you feel the need for this (and the need might be very real), you have a deeper issue in people's capacity to self-manage; patching the issue with action follow-up in tactical usually makes the problem worse, or at absolute best only treats the surface symptoms.  Instead, look to installing solid GTD practice on the team; when combined with solid Holacracy practice, that should address the tension much more deeply and remove the felt need for this solution.

Andrew Scott
09/05/2017

Thanks for your reply Brian.

For information, I ran a tactical meeting yesterday and followed the advice Tom gave, "only if a role feels that it needs to be shared or another Circle Member has requested it" - both for project updates and actions.

It felt good.