The purpose of Map Day is to assemble all the key contributors to a defined project in order to create a map of who will need to deliver what to whom along the way to producing the final customer deliverable(s). It is a critical first step in making sure things get done right the first time throughout the project. Facilitated properly, the Map Day process makes sure everyone is heard, clarifies key interdependencies, surfaces potential future issues and increases team member ownership for the overall project. What separates Map Day from other project kickoff meetings is how the whole agenda is designed to culminate in strong personal commitments between team members for the front end of the project.
Participants have reported that compared to a typical project start up, Map Day produces traction at least 4-6 weeks sooner. People new to the organization often say they’ve learned more during Map Day than anything else they’ve done since coming on board.
For teams who are new to the commitment-based approach, the introduction of key concepts and distinctions are included just as they become relevant to the planning process. Toward the end of Map Day, deliverable owners will be coached to make strong commitments for the front-end deliverables. One of the ground rules is that no one will be asked to commit further out than they can see with reasonable certainty. Reasonable certainty is a relative term, and typically as teams continue to practice a commitment-based approach they are willing to make strong commitments further into the future.
The information produced in Map Day will populate the commitment-based deliverables tracking tool, setting the team up for ongoing commitment and accountability conversations. Training on how to hold these conversations is held as an add on to Map Day as needed.