Similar to the timekeeper, using a “Parking Lot” is an excellent strategy for helping teams stay focused and on track during an ITK session.
The Parking Lot is a blank space where you can capture “good, but off-topic” inputs that can be returned to later in time so that the team can stay focused on the main topic or goal.
In a collaborative session, it’s common that some input may be brought up too early and needs to be returned to after the current session. Or, adjacent topics may arise which also warrant discussion but doing so immediately would be distracting to the current session’s objective.
There are many reasons why a parking lot can be useful:
- Helps teams stay focused on the main topic at hand
- Recording input makes it easier to remember and revisit in the future as needed
- Allows recording of all input, even if off-topic, which enables teammates to feel heard
Interested in trying it out? Try these steps below!
- Before your session, create a Parking lot
- For in-person sessions: Set up a blank easel and label it “Parking Lot”
- For virtual sessions: Create a designed blank space in your virtual whiteboard and label it “Parking Lot”
- At the beginning of the session, announce what the Parking Lot is and state that anyone can contribute to it
- Throughout the session, collect and record input to the Parking Lot
- As time allows, return to the Parking Lot to review and address remaining issues or ideas not already discussed in the remaining time
- Assign an owner to relevant issues or ideas who will be responsible to bring it to resolution