Plus Delta originated from Total Quality Management and is a Lean Six Sigma tool.
The Plus Delta is a great tool to help you stay in alignment with your group over a longer period – a workshop or a retreat is great and a longer project is event better. The tool works well because it helps each person stay focused on the positive. Even the Deltas – I have to have an idea of what I want if I want to see a change.
Much of the time, I am working with a group of people who are not attending voluntarily. Given choice, they may rather be sitting in a dentist’s chair and Plus Delta gives them at least some small measure of control over what is happening. This also puts accountability for the time back on the participants. (See The ‘I’ in TEAM).
Identify these first!
Build upon what is working RIGHT NOW
What do we like?
What makes us feel good?[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Deltas
‘Opportunities’ for improvement
Should be specifc
Should be action oriented
Begin with a verb[/twocol_one_last]
This tool gives the participants a way to communicate with you and provide you feedback that you need to maximize the experience. You may not be able to act upon every item and some people will be rude (“Walk out the door and don’t come back” is one I received and remember). However, I have found that 99% of the time, I am able to respond / fix / defer the pluses or deltas from the group, give them some control or address their challenges.
How to Set Up PLUS DELTA During a Retreat or Workshop Environment
Create a location – windows are good, flip-chart paper attached to the wall, poster board – where you put a + and a triangle on each board or window. Make sure there are lots of sticky notes on the tables or give each participant a pad of sticky notes. Then, tell the participants what the Plus Delta is designed to do.
However, this is not a habit for them and remind them before each break to take 60 seconds and write down the pluses and deltas and put them on the boards at some point during the break. Near the end of the break, make sure to look through them, group any together (Affinity Grouping) and address the feedback.
Set Up Facilitator Scripts
“Plus Delta is a tool and mechanism to capture what is working and what can be changed. We are going to use Plus Delta to help keep me in alignment with you and manage the time we spend together in the best way possible.”
PLUS Facilitator Script
“The Plus sign + is an indication of what I am doing well, what you like, and how the workshop is benefiting you. When you have a positive thought, please write it down, NO MATTER WHAT is happening at the time.
If you need to interrupt, even yourself, to write down something, please do. Or you WILL forget.”
DELTA Facilitator Script
“The triangle is the scientific symbol for (anyone?) change. What would you like to change? The temperature in the room? The way I keep walking around the room? Am I picking my nose too much?
Focus on what you would like to change during our time together. DO NOT try to provide feedback on my style, speaking habits, etc UNLESS you need it to change in the next two days.
If you focus on the wrong items, you will lose focus on your own learning here in the next two days.
You have stickies to write down each thought. AT the beginning of each break, or an opportunity, please put the sticky in the appropriate place and I will review them.”
Notes, Thoughts, Ideas:
- Combine this with Affinity Grouping to help see patterns.
- Depending upon the time and/or sensitivity of what is being discussed, providing some ground rules a Full Value Contract, Four Agreements, might be a VERY good idea.
- Plus Delta can also be used as a brainstorming tool as well.
- Thank you Colin Brine of Be Clearly for introducing us to this tool during a retreat years ago!
How have you used the PLUS DELTA with your groups? What are your pluses and deltas? Please share below!