I just attended my first Integrated Product Team (IPT) meeting. Until today I was completely unaware of the concept. Suddenly I'm walking into a 25 person meeting. The attendees include a cross section of the support and customer organizations (including my boss’s boss).
My survival instincts immediately kicked into high gear. I was paralyzed to the point I couldn’t give you the time of day, if asked. Fortunately I was able to concentrate on talking notes so no one had to check to see if I was still breathing.
I’m not so foolish as to believe everyone in the room is magically on the same level. Nor did I take it as an opportunity to start giving the big boss feedback. I certainly did not feel empowered to jump the chain of command or air potentially “dirty” laundry in front of the customer.
What is ok to say? What is not ok to say? How should things be said? In thinking about other (M-T) behaviors what should I look for?
Thank you for any insight.
Help! How do I survive a Integrated Product Team?
IPT is still a project. There should be a clear objective, a timeline, and the distribution of responsibilities. And you're right: not everyone is equal and discretion is wise.
Ask questions. The right questions can highlight issues without "making a point."
Don't air any dirty laundry or use the team as a forum for complaints, grievances, etc.
And make sure you keep relating everything back to the objective/goals. If the conversation is about meeting customer needs (rather than whose idea is better) then you will be collaborative and contributing.