I had a user recently ask my advice on standing up a OnePager User Group, and I thought the topic warranted some organized thought. Whenever I get the opportunity I always advocate for someone to spearhead creation of an internal OnePager User Group, wherever we have users. A user group can help:
- New users come up to speed more quickly on the application.
- Spread “tribal knowledge” that often develops with a tool like OnePager.
- Broaden the understanding of help resources that are available.
- Provide input to, and education about, data visualization best practices.
- Feed standardization of plan communications.
- Foster community support within the planning team.
- Encourage collaboration on planning-related subject matter.
So, how would you go about forming a user group?
It doesn’t have to be formal, but a healthy level of structure and purpose will probably improve the likelihood of attracting more attendees.
Get a Blessing
Make sure to get your executives behind you. If your leadership can sponsor and vocalize their support for this, it will impact the uptake and provide a blessing for the goodness that it will certainly produce.
Avoid Political Conflict
You’ll have to be careful that this body doesn’t conflict with the work that any sort of other formal PMO or project management team is already doing. It’s likely that that same PMO team or workgroup would naturally own the OnePager user group administration, over the long term.
How often should the user group meet? Infrequently enough to ensure fresh content for sharing and discussions, but often enough to catch new users as they get installed. Quarterly is a nice round first stab at a cadence, and a 1.5 hour lunch session (or pot luck) is also advised, as incentive to attend.
Set a Purpose
How about a short mission statement? Here are some suggestions to include:
- Foster efficiency in individual and group education of OnePager, plan communications, and data visualization.
- Informally discuss the topics of plan communications and data visualization, in ways relevant to real situations internally.
- Provide a mechanism for feedback, where requested, on plan communications that exist, or are under design, today.
With regard to bullet 1 above, the group should figure out early on how to best on-board a new OnePager user…
- What information must be shared with them and how can that be made simple and repeatable?
- Where can they get OnePager Templates?
- Is there an assigned internal resource to help answer questions?
- How to plug them into the OnePager community and ongoing educational drip emails/get them signed up for the blog?
Develop A Rolling Agenda
Here are some suggestions that could be included in an ongoing agenda, to start:
- Who’s new to OnePager?
- Any news from OnePager regarding release notifications?
- Any new videos or worthy blog posts from OnePager?
- Did anyone learn anything important, or have a tip to share with the group that is worth sharing and relevant to OnePager, data visualization, or plan communications (have a back-pocket item)?
- OnePager demonstration/tip (OnePager Expert on the phone).
- Informal feedback – time for anyone to share any visuals that they’ve created, for unfiltered feedback from colleagues.
- Collection of wish list items – does anyone have any features they’d like to see OnePager add to their application?
- Any questions about anything related to OnePager, data visualization, or plan communications?
Schedule it! …Be Flexible And Adjust
Like most projects, this won’t go to plan. If you realize things need to be adjusted, then change. Stick to, and stay true to, the mission!
Over time this group will eventually have accomplished many of the things listed in the bullets at the top of this article, simply by creating a medium to do so. It will make you all better communicators of your plan data, and it will make your business more successful as a result.
If you do stand up a OnePager User Group, please feel free to invite us! We’d be happy to attend for at least 30 minutes to answer questions, or present on a certain topic.