Meeting Review using WWW/AFI

Meeting Reviews are a simple and grossly under-utilised technique for understanding how well a meeting worked, and what can be learned from the experience. Consisting of a simple sheet of flipchart paper (or a blank whiteboard in a virtual meeting) split into two columns headed WWW (What went well?) and AFI (Areas for improvement?) it captures suggestions from the team, and provides useful input for ensuring meetings maintain a standard and continue to improve. Basically, it is a quick and simple way of reviewing a meeting with a group, recognising the good things people did, and learning from the things that didn’t work so well.

At the end of a (physical) meeting simply draw a line down through the centre of a clean flipchart sheet and write WWW as a heading on one side, and AFI as a heading on the other. Then ask the group “So what do we feel we did well in this meeting?”, and write the responses as a list down the left hand side.
If people raise criticisms before the WWWs are finished, ask them to focus for the moment on the positives, and that there will be time in a minute or two to shift our minds to a negative perspective. Try to move the suggestions around the room so that one or two individuals do not dominate the list.
Once the WWWs reach the bottom of the page, ask people to reflect back on what might have been improved in the meeting, and list these on the right hand side.
Typically you will end up with 5 to 10 things on each side. If there are actions out of the list, make sure that there are given an owner (even if it is you) and bring the list back to the start of the next meeting to remind the group on what we did well last time, and what we are going to do differently this time.
A couple of tips to overcome problems you might encounter over time:
  • If it is clear that only a few people are participating and the rest are simply ‘letting them do it’, ask everybody individually to write down two things that went well and two things they would like to see improved – then wait until everyone has written something before you ask them for items for your list. You will find the result is much more balanced and free-flowing.
  • If you feel that the list contains a number of things that most people don’t agree with, offer people two green dots each to stick beside the items they personally feel are the most important to take forward, and one red dot if there is anything they feel should not be up there.

The iFrame version of the tool recreates the flipchart as a web-based template onto which everybody can annotate their reflections and ideas in a very short space of time. Variations of the tool include:

  • the option to stick up the inputs on post-it notes
  • reserving a section at the bottom of the flipchart to record one or two agreed changes to be adopted at the next meeting
  • using sticky dots to prioritise the items raised (or even to dispute some of them)
You can download a PowerPoint template of the tool below.
The template can be printed off (at any size) for use in Physical meetings, or uploaded to suitable meeting or collaboration software so that it can be used in virtual or asynchronous meetings. However, given that the tool is so simple, you may prefer to create it as you need it in your meeting.

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2 thoughts on “Meeting Review using WWW/AFI

  1. Always better to start with AFI and finish the meeting with WWW so finish on a high and positive tone.

  2. Suggest the sticky notes regardless, and have each person affix their post-it note to a designated wall. Leader can then read them, or a selection (in the order Dilip suggests above!) and that way the leader can gather all captured thoughts, even if not all discussed.

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