Effective meetings F2F and virtually

OPERA Tutorial

If a first time user, please take a moment to browse through this short tutorial.

What is OPERAmeeting?


OPERAmeeting is an application to help teams to activate and involve the attendees as well as manage their information exchange better in meetings. OPERAmeeting is based on the OPERA Process that has been successfully used in thousands of organizations for over 25 years.

The key of the OPERA process is to help consolidate the differing viewpoints and opinions of a group into a common understanding. The process consists of five easy-to-follow steps. This process is well tried and tested and has been proven to work effectively for years.  It has been successfully used in traditional face to face meetings in numerous organizations.

OPERA stands for the five stages of the process:

  1. O = Own thinking
  2. P = Pair suggestions
  3. E = Explaining
  4. R = Ranking
  5. A = Arrangement and Actions

Setting up the topic to discuss

Before the process starts, the facilitator will set up the topic for the meeting. Facilitator gives a short title the  meeting in form of an open question, i.e. Other than a closed ”yes/no” -question (What should we…? How might we…?). For example: "How can we increase sales?". 
A more detailed description of the question can also be written before starting of the process. There may also be here for a desired outcome (e.g. ”doable within next 3 months”, ”maximize sales volume”,…). The topic will be visible to all participants at the top of the screen at all times. Facilitator may edit this at any time of the process to further instuct the participants, and participants can scroll back here to read it.

Own thinking

The OPERA process starts with an individual thinking phase, "O". When a group is given a question to answer, roughly half  of us feel more comfortable to think through our thoughts silently in our minds, while the rest feel the immediate urge to discuss our own suggestions with others. In a traditional meeting (face to face or virtual), the ”general” discussion is often dominated by the 2–3 most extraverted, easily leaving the rest outside of the discussion. Here, everybody are allowed to produce and write down their suggestions for further discussions. This will participate the introverted as well, and ”force” the extraverted to crystallize their (sometimes rambling) thoughts.

Pair discussion

In Pair discussion, ”P” phase, pairs discuss and select their favorite suggestions to go forward in the meeting as their common suggestions. When individual thoughts are shared with and explained to a pair, many positive things happen: People tend to be more comfortable to share their thoughts with one person rather than in front of a group; when suggestions are shared and discussed, many viewpoints are discussed; people start to prioritize their ideas fruitfully; ”my ideas” start to become ”our ideas”; many people process the topic simultaneously instead of traditional meeting’s ”one talks, 10 listens” routine.

Explaining and Ranking

In Explaining and Rankling (”E+R”) phase, all suggestions prepared by the pairs are now visible to all, and are being explained to and studied by the rest of the group. Then, the group will take a vote of mainly the suggestions of others, which they feel are the best. In this phase, there are some key benefits: positive selection instead of critique and pin-pointing the faults of ”bad” ideas will build the foundation of commonly accepted solution instead of creating a (often personally polarized) argument; people will see many similarities in the suggestions of others enhancing the common commitment. 

Arranging and Actions

In Arranging and Actions (”A”) phase, all suggestions are ranked according their total votes. Zero-votes are removed from the further discussion, and the focus of the following discussion will be the on the commonly supported suggestions. Here, suggestions similar to each other are collected as separate groups. These groups naturally form topics for clear action points. The participants find easy to take responsibility of these action points .


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