What are the Pre / Post flights for?
Just like a pilot, it's great to do a set of checks before and after you reach your destination.
A Pre-flight is about setting expectations with your team; What are we trying to achieve together? What are our shared hopes and fears? What do we each individually want to achieve?
It's also a chance to get your bias out in the open. Everyone has bias and starting a project being open about your thoughts gives you a great playing field to understanding where everyone stands.
A Post-flight check is all about taking the time to reflect. What went well throughout the project? What didn't? Did you meet your team and personal goals? Did your fears come true? Why? What worked so well you want to bring it forward into the next project.
Who is this for?
Anyone who has a team that is looking to grow and improve together.
That could be a startup, a consultancy, a team in a large organisation, a group of teachers or a set of students on their first team project.
Try not to judge, lead with empathy.
One conversation at a time, take your time.
Encourage conversation from one another.
Celebrate the great and discuss the not so great.
Take the opportunity to clear the air
When should I use this?
You should aim to run one of these every time you start a big piece of work that involves multiple members of a team.
This could be starting a new Epic in your startup, Starting a project with your clients or running an internal effort in your school.
Every time you take the time to do these flights, you'll learn more about what works for you as a team, what doesn't and whether or not you're achieving your personal and team goals.
So how do I get started?
Running a post-flight is as easy as opening a packet of sticky notes.
Gather your team, block out a 1-2 hour period depending on your team size and start filling in section by section.
Every time a section is complete, take a pause and share back with each other what you wrote and why. Encourage conversation and write down the commitments you make to support each other.
The only optional extra that we suggest trying to find is a 3rd party who is uninvolved in the project to facilitate the session. If you're a manager or team lead, you also deserve the space to do this; so bring someone in who's not involved in helping run it for a more open dialogue.