Meetings can be a complete time-hog unless managed and structured
In this project management podcast we’re covering meetings, both from an organiser but also from an attendee perspective. We cover some basic dos and don’ts to avoid meetings becoming inefficient and a time-drain. And we talk about biscuits 🙂
• Be clear about the meeting objective or goal.
• Issue an agenda and stick to it. Bullet points are fine.
• Keep meetings an efficient length. 30-45 mins works for most meetings. (Almost all the 3 hour meetings I’ve been to could have been run in half that time or less)
• Be ruthless about attendees – only invite who really needs to be there
• Issue minutes ideally within 1 working day. 10 mins before the next meeting is too late!
• In the minutes clearly separate discussion/information points from actions
• Send an email reminder about the actions well before the next meeting
• Use a weekly project meeting as a key tool to keep project momentum, assist with team bonding and to help remove blockers
• If the project meeting only needs to be 10min that’s fine.
• At the first meeting set out the meeting etiquette (start promptly, phones on silent, step out to make calls etc)
• Open conference call bridges at least 1 min before the meeting start time
• Show some information on the screen to keep attendee focus
• Record the meeting so that people have a chance to revisit
• Webcams – great for the initial introductions when we are all remote working but use sparingly from then as Zoom fatigue can easily set in
• Read (or at least scan) any supporting documents.
• If there’s 6 people plus you attending and the organiser has to spend 10mins explaining some basic information, thats 6 x 10min (1hr) of project effort wasted. So contact the organiser individually if you need specific or introductory information.
• Respect the meeting etiquette and your colleagues’ time. Turn up promptly and step out if you need to make a call.
• If you feel that much of the meeting is not relevant to you, discuss with the organiser in advance so you can make your contribution in an agreed slot
Types of meeting
• Decisions – project board or steering group – few people – key information – decision makers
• Collaboration – projects – key group of people (use the 1 pizza rule) – share progress – remove blockers – drive & keep momentum.
• Communication – one-way info share – as many people as you like