Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Last YAC Meeting of the Year, Friday, May 9, B-block (12:20)

Dear Casady YAC,

To our graduating seniors: Best of luck in college next year. Thanks for the memories we made together as we accomplished the goal of taking YAC back on track!:

We will have a "brief end of the year meeting" this coming Friday at the Wing during B-block.  If, due to longer board of visitors chapel, out to lunch or Gales mandatory meeting, we do not meet, I want to thank everyone for the role you played in brainstorming, planning, implementing and reflecting projects this year.  Special thanks to the YAC Executive board for their leadership, to Natasha S. for being the YAC/Service-Learning voice at chapel and to YLOKCasady for connecting to YAC throughout the year. 

Pease consider sending me the answers to the following questions:
-What worked? 
-What did not?
-How can we improve YAC next year?
I will compile your ideas in the minutes page of the YAC blog for the new leadership of YAC to review.

If you want to be part of the leadership of YAC next year, please send me your name, contact information (e-mail and cell), and the name of the project(s) you want to facilitate in collaboration with YAC next year.  See below the list I have so far:

YAC Chairs and projects for next year:
Sidney J. : New project "food waste"
Jessica G.: ICS Diaper Tower Competition
Aubrey H. Project: ?  Children's Hospital Project????
Ananya B.: Somos Project/ Peace Week, 
Johnny L.: STEM Project/Peace Week

The new YAC leadership and any interested YAC member will meet Tuesday, May 27, 2014 from 10-noon to reflect, do some strategic planning and set a tentative 2014-2015 calendar

See below description of Project Chairs responsibilities, goals, and expectations.

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941); poet, playwright, essayist

YAC Chairs Responsibilities
Adapted from Youth LEAD OKC 2013 Project Management Training

Project Responsibilities

·         Strategic Planning:  Set goals, objectives and suggest calendar of activities with regular schedule meeting times for the 2014-2015 school year
·         Work Plan:
o        Managing and updating work plan
o        Identify, track, and resolve project issues
o        Manage overall schedule to ensure work is assigned and completed on time and within budget
·         Contact:
o        Staying in contact with Program Directory/ Adult Mentor about project progress and team needs
o        Staying in contact with team members and being of aware of and assisting with their needs (see team responsibilities)
o        Responding in a timely manner to e-mails, phone calls, and other contacts.
·         General:
o        Overseeing marketing of the project before, during and after
o        Closing the project in a meaningful way including lessons learned, successes, gratitude etc.
Team Responsibilities:
  • Make sure that your team completes action steps on time and in a professional way.
  • Establishing leadership and communicating a vision that the team accepts and wants to reach.
  • Setting reasonable, challenging and clear expectations for people, and holding them accountable for meeting the expectations.
  • Providing good feedback to team members
  • Constantly improving team cohesion and dynamics. The team should be motivated to work hard—team building skills are necessary.
  • Communicate affectively, take input from every team member. 

Running a meeting
Adapted from Youth LEAD OKC 2013 Project Management Training
Goal: To learn how to run an efficient meeting that achieves a stated goal or objective and leaves attendees feeling energized.

  1. Define the meeting objective:  A successful meeting serves a specific purpose.  Know the desired outcome before you call the meeting.
    • Do you want a decision?
    • Do you want to generate ideas?
    • Are you making plans?
    • Are you getting status reports?
    • Are you communicating something?
  1.  Prepare an agenda
    • Prioritize – what absolutely needs to be covered?
    • Results – what do we need to accomplish?
    • Participants – who needs to be there to make it successful?
    • Sequence – in what order will you cover the topics?
    • Timing – how much time will you spend on each agenda item?
    • Logistics - when (date and time) and where will the meeting take place?
**Circulate the agenda prior to the meeting to get feedback and to let
            participants know what to expect so they can prepare accordingly.
  1. Use allotted time well
    • Start on time, even if people are missing
    • End on time
    • Begin by stating the meeting objective.  Any discussion that does not address the objective needs to be set aside or “put in the parking lot”, unless there is agreement that the digression is important
    • Assign a time keeper to let participants know when to wrap up discussion of each agenda item
  1. Empower the meeting facilitator to keep the process moving according to the agenda
    • Make sure everyone has a chance to make their voice heard during the meeting
    • Summarize each agenda item at the close of that segment, review action steps and get group acknowledgement
    • Watch body language – Do you need a break?  Did someone say something that might have offended a person or the group?
    • Ensure that the meeting stays on topic
    • List all tasks that are assigned, make notes of who will do what and by when
    • Decide whether items in the “parking lot” need further discussion and determine how they will be followed up
5. Wrap-up the meeting before the designated time
    • Summarize next steps and let everyone know that you (or someone else) will be circulating minutes by a certain date
    • Review assignments and each team member’s responsibility
    • Brainstorm agenda items for next meeting  (Be as specific as possible.)
    • De-brief the meeting - Did you meet the objective? What went well?  What could have been better?
  1. Follow-up
·        Prepare and send out minutes by expected date


Taking Minutes  
Adapted from Youth LEAD OKC 2013 Project Management Training

The purpose of keeping minutes is to provide a record of the organization’s actions, for the information of absent members and for future reference. Minutes are not generally intended to be news reports, or a record of everything that was said in a meeting. For most meetings, it is enough to record important decisions and follow-up action items for an individual, team, or the organization.
Minutes should include the following:
  1. Name of organization
  2. Kind of meeting (e.g. program, committee, board)
  3. Date and time of the meeting and place (if it’s not always the same)
  4. List of attendees and the name of the person recording the minutes
  5. Action steps, including who will perform them and by when
  6. Record of key facts, new information or important decisions/votes taken
  7. Any changes to objectives, timeline or work plan
  8. Next steps
  9. Next meeting time, date and place
Members should know when to expect the minutes and they should be sent in a timely manner.  Minutes should clearly outline action items and next steps, who is responsible for completing the task, and the expected time frame.
Minutes Template:
MeetingPlace, Date, Time
Attendees:  person recording minutes is last and noted as Bob Jones (recording).
Action Items:
1. person 1 will do this_________
2. person 2 will do this ________
3. list any general items in future without assignment
 Votes taken: (note whether by consensus, majority, etc)
Summary of key discussion:

Project Management
Adapted from Traditional Project Management Steps, Project Management Institute and YLOKC 2013 Project Management Training
Project management is the act of planning, organizing and managing resources to bring about the “successful” completion of specific project.  It is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning, middle and end.  It is undertaken to meet particular goals and to bring about change or add value to an organization or event.

Six Stages:
  1. Determine nature and scope
  2. Design and develop work plan
  3. Execute work plan
  4. Monitor and control process (while updating work plan with any changes)
  5. Implement plan
  6. Close and evaluate (determine next steps)
Stage One: Determine nature and scope of project.
  • Assess needs and opportunities (what currently exists? What do we want to exist?)
  • Develop a vision (40,000 feet)
  • Research other similar initiatives
  • Set measurable goals
  • Develop overall cost structure
  • Develop general time frame
  • Develop leadership structure
    • Project Manager
    • Team
    • Other (mentors, community leaders, other teens)
Stage Two: Design and develop work plan
  • Establish objectives to meet pre-established goals
  • Identify potential barriers and challenges and assess whether or not they can be overcome.
  • Develop work plan, including action steps, timeline, and person responsible
  • Develop means to adapt to changes in cost, scope, or timing (Project Management Triangle) while maintaining quality
Stage Three: Execute work plan
  • Coordinate people and resources – cold calling, identifying resources, assigning tasks (strengths and resources)
  • Run meetings and keep minutes
  • Set ongoing agendas
Stage Four: Monitor and control process
  • Observe project progress to address potential problems in a timely manner
  • Identify variances from the goal and objectives
  • Measure project progress (where are we?)
  • Monitor variables (where should we be, i.e. cost, manpower, red tape, and barriers?)
  • Identify corrective action (how do we get back on track?)
  • Assess when a change in objectives, timeline, or action steps is needed. 
  • Take corrective action when needed
Stage Five:  Implement program
  • Facilitate program
  • Note what worked and what didn’t
Stage Six: Close and evaluate
  • Formally close the project (either project is completed or there is joint agreement to disband)
  • Evaluate outcomes
  • Review participant evaluations (if relevant)
  • Hold a project team de-briefing session to “glean” the project.
  • Determine next steps

S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Adapted from Adventure in the Classroom, Mary Henton and Youth LEAD OKC 2013 Project Management Training
Definition of a goal: A measurable end result that has specific objectives to be achieved within an established timeframe.
        Definition of an objective: Objectives are the concrete steps you take to achieve your goal.  It’s helpful to begin each objective with the infinitive form of the verb (e.g. to develop, to plan).  Good objectives have measurable outcomes.

Specific: Goals should be concrete and particular. They should focus on one behavior that a project or program wants to increase, decrease, or change in some way.

Measurable: In order to know if a goal has been achieved, it must be measurable in in quantity and over time.

Achievable: A goal needs to be realistic.

Relevant: The goal must offer an overall positive outcome within the context of the larger program. It is also important that the people making the goal want to accomplish it.

Traceable: It must be possible to see if you are heading toward your goal at any particular time. If changes to the goal or work plan need to be made, it should be possible to cleanly alter them.

Food for Thought:
1. What is your goal as a YAC Chair for the school year 2014-2015?
2. What are your objectives and one project you want to lead next year?
3. Why are you the best choice for YAC Chair in your grade and why should your project be a YAC priority?


Adapted from Youth LEAD OKC 2013 Communication Training
Objective:  To help create a respectful group meeting or gathering.
  • I will speak for myself and from my own experience.  (I will begin sentences with “I think” or “I feel”, as opposed to “you people” or “you think”.)
  • I will listen with an open heart and mind.
  • I will set aside the need to persuade others to agree with me.
  • I will not interrupt.  (If someone else is speaking, I will wait until they have finished before I speak.  I will not engage in “sidebar” conversations.)
  • I will “step up” to share my thoughts and experiences and then “step back” so others may share their thoughts and experiences.  (I will try to ensure that everyone has a chance to speak.)
  • I will not attack a person or any aspect of their identity.
  • I will ask a “clarifying question” if I don’t understand something that has been said.  (A clarifying question seeks to understand:  “What do you mean by…?” or “Can you explain that to me?”)
  • I will “pass” if I don’t want to speak.
  • I will assume good intentions and use “oops” and “ouch” to indicate when others have offended me or when something I said did not come out in the way I intended.