Jun 10 2012
Project planning can be pretty daunting when you think of the enormity of it all. After all you are going to break any given project down into its most granular of parts so that you can plan out exactly how to deliver it. The question comes to mind: “Where to start?”. One technique that I have used many times, is the sticky session. Simply put it is structured brainstorming with brightly coloured 3M Post-it® notes and a big a** sheet of paper.
What you need:
- High level list of deliverables which will help you identify which subject matter experts you will need
- A group of subject matter experts (SMEs)
- A sheet of paper 2.5 meters (8 feet) wide and 1.2 meters (4 feet) high
- sticky notes that are 3×5 inches (other sizes can be used but are either too small to read at a distance or too large they waste space)
- A room big enough to hold 10-20 people that can accommodate the paper on the wall (NOTE: it’s also nice to have a projector available so participants can refer to the meeting goals through out the session)
- A brainstorming facilitator (typically the project manager but in some circumstances a third party can be used)
The goal of the sticky session is to facilitate the subject matter experts in brainstorming (to the required level of detail) what will be needed to complete the deliverables.
The stickies will give the project manager the embryonic pieces of the work breakdown structure (WBS) that will eventually give birth to the project schedule (once the activities have been identified and sequenced and the resources and budget have been identified).