Parking lot

Parking lot
Parking lot
The ‘Parking lot’ is a classic business tool used to keep meetings and workshops focused and on track. During discussions, questions will often arise that are important (or not) but not fully relevant to the focus at the moment. These questions or issues are “parked” on a flipchart, to be addressed and answered later. This practice helps ensure both that important questions do not get lost and that the group can stay focused on the most relevant things.

In this sense, the Parking lot is not an exercise in itself, but will run ‘parallel’ to other discussions or exercises during the session and supports focus throughout the day.

Parking lot
Design meetings5-10 minutes5-50EasyEasyFlipchartCopy based on Hyper Island copy.The Parking lot is a simple intervention but asks three important things of the facilitator: to explain clearly at the start that the Parking lot is used, be strict in the Parking lot usage especially in the early parts of the session to lay the foundation for the rest of the day and -finally- to address the Parking lot questions at the end of the session.To bring some structure to tools and excercises, I borrowed the “five structural elements” from Liberating Structures. It is an easy and structured way to describe the different dimensions of an exercise.At the start of a meeting or workshop explain to the group that we are going to use a “parking lot” to help us to work more effectively.

Write a large “P” at the top of the flipchart paper and tape it to a prominent wall. Explain that whenever a point is raised or questions are asked that don’t directly relate to the subject or session, you will write it on a post-it note, and stick that onto the flipchart paper.

Invite group members to add to the parking lot at any time.

Make sure to hang the flipchart paper in a prominent spot where everybody can see and has access.
  1. Preparing for the meeting, write a large “P” at the top of the flipchart paper and tape it to a prominent wall.
  2. At the start of a meeting or workshop explain to the group that we are going to use a “parking lot” to help us to work more effectively. Explain that whenever a point is raised or questions are asked that don’t directly relate to the subject or session, you will write it on a post-it note, and stick that onto the flipchart paper. Invite group members to add to the parking lot at any time.
  3. Especially at the start of the session, make sure to cut lenghty discussions shorts and refer them to the Parking lot. This will speed up the usage and will make facilitation the rest of the day easier.
  4. Feel free to remind people during the session they can add to the Parking lot.
  5. As the meeting/workshop comes to a close, ensure that there is time to address the points and questions on the parking lot, with the whole group. If there are any questions left unanswered make sure that you or a group member follows them up.
No special configuration needed.
Everyone can participate and has equal value.
  • As the meeting/workshop comes to a close, ensure that there is time to address the points and questions on the parking lot, with the whole group. If there are any questions left unanswered make sure that you or a group member follows them up.
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Polle de Maagt
✔️92% satisfaction score ✔️50+ countries

In November 2015, I almost died of a kidney rupture and a lung infection. It was an experience that changed my outlook on life profoundly.  It was time to spend my time more wisely. First of all, I decided to make as many beautiful memories as possible. Secondly, I decided to not accept the horrible status quo of suboptimal relationships between companies and people anymore. Not as a consumer myself and certainly not as a professional. I started doing less meetings and more doings. Less powerpoints, more doing stuff. And even more than before, I obsessed about changing companies to be less about ads and more about acts – for both their customers and their colleagues. Impact is about doing. Start doing more.

If you think I can help, I’d love to hear from you.