This is a simple tool to support you to lead an effective meeting or group process by setting out clear purpose, structure and goals at the very beginning. It aims to enable all participants to understand every aspect of the meeting or process, which creates the security of a common ground to start from. The acronym stands for Intention, Desired Outcome, Agenda, Rules, Roles and Responsibilities and Time.
Before the meeting/process, prepare a Flipchart / Slide outlining all the points of IDOARRT. See below:
Intention – What is the intention, or purpose, of the meeting? In other words, why have it?
Desired Outcome(s) – What specific outcomes should be achieved by the end of the meeting?
Agenda – What activities will the group go through, in what order, to move toward the desired outcome?
Roles – What roles or responsibilities need to be in place for the meeting to run smoothly? Who is facilitating, and who is participating? Who is documenting, and who is keeping track of the time? What do you expect of the participants?
Rules – What guidelines will be in place during the meeting? These could relate to agreed group norms. They could also relate to use of laptops/mobiles, or practical rules related to a space. Let the participants add rules to ensure that they have ownership of them.
Time – What is the expected time for the meeting, including breaks,and at what time will the meeting end?
At the beginning of the meeting, introduce the IDOARRT, going through point by point. Invite participants to ask questions or make suggestions for changes. Once the group is happy with the plan, go ahead with the rest of the meeting.