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Our organization has just completed a large-for-us elearning development project. It totaled just under $1mm usd, and employed a team of approximately 40 people for six months. Most of our staff was on the project part-time, but about six were full time. We'll send out a questionnaire ahead of time, and convene the entire group for a single in-person session.

Here's the part we're not sure about: some people believe that the session should be a single large group session, while others believe that it should be broken down into functional areas. In our case this would include a production team, subject matter experts, instructional designers, etc. Some team members participated in several roles.

Both approaches have intuitive arguments, but intuition can't substitute for experience! What do you recommend?

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Six to no more than maybe 9 people is your sweet spot for facilitating working groups. I would predict having a single sessions with 40 people will yield nothing valuable.

  • Thanks, David. I believe that this is the way we'll probably go. – Elemental Jul 6 '17 at 16:21
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  • If the meeting will be just about sharing the results of the questionnaire and the next steps of the product (In other words no interaction with the attendees other than the regular Q&As in any meeting), then it wouldn't hurt to hold the session for the entire team, after all it'll be a way to convey how transparent are you as a management team.

  • If the meeting will involve discussions or gathering feedback from the attendees then I suggest the following format:

    • Hold feedback sessions with each functional area, this will help focusing on the learnings of every aspect of the business.
    • After processing the feedback gathered from all the teams and agreeing on the action items/next steps for the whole product with the main stakeholders, hold a clouser meeting for the activity to share the findings and the next steps with all the team, this will help them to be aligned on the vision, feel connected and trusted. It shouldn't be a long meeting, just enough time to keep everyone in the loop and answer any final questions the team may have.
  • Thanks for your help, Yassmeen. We're really hoping to have an open conversation with team members, so we'll probably do as you and David suggest and break this into smaller groups for that part. I'll also work with the sponsor and management to find a way to share the summary findings once we've compiled them. – Elemental Jul 6 '17 at 16:23

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