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Contract For Success

Posted on by Brandon Klein

DESCRIPTION:
This is an individual networking assignment, which can be assigned post-DesignShop or incorporated into the latter part (Act phase) of a DesignShop. The specific form (“Contract for Success”) was developed for an Operational Plan development session. Within the DesignShop, project leaders clarify their responsibilities within the newly developed plans; for this module, they develop “contracts” with others with whom they’ll interact to accomplish their work. The contracts basically specify what both parties need from the other in order to accomplish their work, including how and how often both parties will communicate over the course of the project. Once the two people agree on specifics, they write it up and both sign it.

MISSION:
To efficiently custom-design the process that participants will employ to accomplish their agreed-upon goals (as opposed to defining one process that everyone is then expected to follow).

TIMING/TIME REQUIREMENTS:
This activity is appropriate when participants have assigned specific, well-understood projects and tasks to individual members (thus, typically in the final hours of a DesignEvent). The time required is typically 30 - 60 minutes.

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS:
Strengths — Clarifies working relationships for accomplishment of DesignShop goals. Helps an organization learn how to respond to individual preferences (how much information you want, in what form, how often, et cetera). Good “maintenance” activity — can prevent future problems. Weaknesses — Is unnecessary for groups that already know how to do this. Tends to be a scan process (opens new questions and discussions); thus can work against the tight focus often desired for the Act Phase. Often, other tasks are more important for participants to address during the DesignShop. Specifications for Success — 1. Provide clear examples of what this exercise is to accomplish. 2. Encourage participants to negotiate the larger issues, and leave the fine points for later; then go on to the next. Thus, several contracts can be defined within 30 - 40 minutes. 3.

VARIATIONS:
Multiple copies of “Contract for Normal Normal; pay particular attention to Usually informal; in closing - Can often be incorporated into other Act Phase modules Can sometimes be assigned as a post-DesignShop activity Concept is useful for general project management work.