Generating a 1:1 meeting dashboard template with GyroQ

A post last month described an approach for setting the agenda for a weekly 1:1 meeting using ResultsManager. The meeting agenda template, available in the Dashboard Library, attempts to operationalize the GTD review approach into a MindManager Map by walking the manager/direct-report through the process of discussing activities that have become overdue, are committed to each other, or have been tagged as needing discussion. It prompts review of projects lacking next steps, target dates, or priorities. Finally it enumerates current projects by priority and lists future/someday projects for potential launch.

Running through this process with the dashboard on-screen during the weekly meeting can facilitate communication as well as a rapid status update to the project maps. This helps ensure the maps remain a "trusted system" for the group.

In order to use the template,you needed to do a search/replace to configure it for a manager/direct-report pair and then save and install separate templates manually for each of them. If you got an idea for an improvement or found a bug, you would need to modify each dashboard separately or modify the original and go through the search/replace process again.

The new GyroQ 1:1 meeting template generator tag posted in the GyroQ tag library provides a means to get around some of these inefficiencies. It prompts you for the name of the manager and direct-report, and then goes through the process of synthesizing the entire dashboard template from scratch. The advantage of this approach is that it lets you improve and customize the master version (via the code) and then generate individual dashboards for use rather than modify them individually or go through the search/replace process again off a master dashboard.

The script also provides a working example of the steps necessary for generating a custom ResultsManager dashboard template. Note that the scripts works most reliably if you let it run undisturbed. The send key commands and select statements can become confused if you interact with the computer/MindManager while it is running. You will be prompted to replace the previous versions of the template if you are regenerating one. If the script works correctly, it will finish by informing you that the new dashboard template has been installed.

This video shows the 1:1 meeting dashboard template generation process using a hypothetical example using "Nik Tipler" and "Nick Duffill" as the manager and direct report respectively.

Usage Example
In order to test the dashboard template, I created a map with several "Yard work" projects using Nik and Nick's names :

1 on 1 meeting example yard work projects map

and then generated a 1:1 meeting dashboard from that map:

1 on 1 meeting example dashboard

This video shows process of the above dashboard being generated.

How the Dashboard Generating Script Works

Description Code
The script starts by prompting for the ResultsManager names of the manager and direct report involved; storing these in the temp variable and the clipboard respectively. The content of these locations are accessed using the placeholders "_temp_" and "_clipboard_": temp:'?|1:1 Meeting Dashboard Template Builder|Enter the Manager Name for the 1:1 meeting dashboard template you are building?';

clipboard:'?|1:1 Meeting Dashboard Template Builder|Enter The Direct Report name for the 1:1 meeting dashboard template you are building?';

The script uses the "send" keys command to set the "subject" of the map (this will become the dashboard template title) and to set the keywords to "Dashboard". These steps are necessary to make the map a "valid" dashboard template. send:'!fi1:1 dashboard _clipboard_ _temp_ {tab}{tab}{tab} {tab}{tab}{tab}Dashboard{enter}';
It next sets the view to hid the callouts and topic task information to make the dashboard less busy: send:'!vsl!vst';
The script next sets the central topic text and notes: select:centraltopic;
text:'1:1 Meeting Dashboard for _clipboard_ and _temp_ %today%';

notes:'1:1 Meeting Dashboard generated by %templatefullname% for %toptext% http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-sa/2.5/';

It next creates the filters for the various branches of the dashboard. It first creates a main topic called "Overdue Items" and adds an "emergency" icon for visual effect (not required). Beneath that it creates an ActivityOwner subtopic with the direct-report name from the clipboard placed in the note. It sets the "rm_filter" icon that tells ResultsManager that this topic is a filter to be processed. It continues setting filters to look at only committed items that are overdue: new:maintopic:' Overdue Items'; icon:emergency;

new:subtopic:'#ActivityOwner'; notes:'_clipboard_'; icon:rm_filter;

new:subtopic:'#Committed'; notes:'Y'; icon:rm_filter;

new:subtopic:'#Overdue'; notes:'Y'; icon:rm_filter;

The script continues on to create the other filter branches. Note the used of parenttopic to navigate around the branch. Once the filter branches are completed, the script saves the dashboard in the "my dashboards" directory under the default map directory, closes it, re-opens it, and then runs a ResultsManager macro to install the template for use with ResultsManager. Note that the close/open step is needed to convince MindManager the map has been saved: map:save:'my dashboards\ 1_on_1_dashboard_template __clipboard___temp_';

map:close;

map:open:'my dashboards\ 1_on_1_dashboard_template __clipboard___temp_';

run:macro:'C:\Program Files\ Gyronix\ ResultManager\ ResultManager-X5-InstallTemplate.MMBas';

map:close;

If you are a manager and want to stick to the original dashboard template, one strategy would be to program it to have your name hard-coded as the Manager and use %me% as the direct-report, and then change the %me% setting in dashboard options prior to generating the template. You have to remember to set it back, but otherwise it provides a relatively simple solution.

2 Comments »

  1. ActivityOwner said,

    March 21, 2007 @ 7:55 am

    Note that the 1o1 tag on the site had a small typo for the last couple of weeks, so if you gave it a try and had a problem, you can re-download and have another go at it.

  2. ActivityOwner said,

    September 23, 2007 @ 9:35 am

    This code has been updated to work with MindManager 7. See the GyroQ tag library for the latest code and packed text:

    http://wiki.activityowner.com/index.php?title=GyroQ_Tag_Library

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