Meetings Made Meaningful

EVERYONE complains about the unmanageable amount of time spent on meetings, and the cost to the company. Some “disruptive” managers attempt to ban ALL meetings, but that does not work in our knowledge economy.

To make your meetings meaningful and effective, we developed a Meeting Management Monitor that will help you achieve up to 50% improvement after a dozen meetings.

The beauty of the tool is that unbiased monitoring is all you need to do – and the results will show after a few meetings. Plus, the tool is easy to use, absolutely low-tech and free.

Here’s how it works.

Meetings quality and length depend on how you manage them, including preparation, logistics, and follow-up. We suggest to monitor the meeting’s quality on the 5 Meeting KPIs rolled up from the following items:

LOGISTICS of the meeting ensures that the right people are duly informed about the time, location and goal of the meeting, and the appropriate environment has been set up.

OPENING is crucial and may need to be rehearsed. The owner of the meeting must spell out the agenda and highlight the key focus and expected goals. Do not expect everybody to have read the invitation (not during your first meetings). A lot of time is saved if you repeat the “mundane” meeting rules (phones off, no gadgets, washrooms, etc.)

DISCUSSION is the core of the meeting. Make sure that the speakers respect the report format and are well prepared; action items have dates and names attached; reports on past AIs are provided by the accountable person assigned to the AI.

CLOSURE has its special value. To make sure that every participant had a say, do a round-the-table check before you adjourn. Make sure that the meeting minutes are clear and ready to be sent to all. Summarize the meeting results with the focus on the key goal and wish everybody success.

GENERAL observations, like a general ban on gadgets, mutual respect, and punctuality, are also important and do not require further explanation.

Right after the event, the chairman scores the meeting. The scale is not important as long as it remains consistent: you will be competing with the baseline you have set after the first meeting. With my clients, we prefer a scale of 1-10 for the Discussion items and up to 5 points per any other items, conveniently adding up to 100 max.

To make the math actionable, write down just one great thing about this meeting on the left side and one urgent concern that must be taken care ahead of anything else on the right. OK make it no more than two each, otherwise you may lose focus and won’t improve it by the next meeting.

You can see a sample scorecard on the picture.

In addition, you may plot the results and make them available to the participants. Depending on your creativity, computer skills and organizational needs, you may add trend lines, actual duration etc.

This visualization has a strong positive impact on the meeting quality. In addition, you can analyze the scores’ variation and do you mini-RCAs improving efficiency even further.

A typical weekly 1-hr meeting would last for over one hour and have over twenty participants. With the Monitor deployed, maintained and shared, the meeting duration goes down to 45 minutes, and the number of participants – to 15-16.

This is over 50% work-time saving!

In dollar terms, 50% of 1 hr by 20 managers saves well over $1000 per meeting.

Feel free to contact Collectiver for more information about our tools.

More on meetings:

You Don’t have to be Steve Jobs to Run Meaningful Meetings

7 Tips to Ensure Your Meetings Never End

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