All meetings should have a clear objective. Learn what else it takes to have effective meetings.
- Collaboration is required for companies to do their best work, and meetings are the go-to choice for doing so. But let's be honest, how many meetings do you attend which could be summed up in a simple email? Over the years, I've been in hundreds of meetings, some good, but many of them not so much. I'm sure you've felt the same way. This leads us to try either avoiding meetings altogether or simply view them as a waste of time and mentally check out.
I've definitely been guilty of this, and my meeting notes ended up consisting of mostly doodles. But why does this happen? Meetings flop for a number of reasons, but the top three you'll hear consistently are scheduling a meeting last minute, not having a clear plan, and having too many people present. Do any of those reasons sound familiar to you? No doubt. Yet, in the age of Agile, we rely on meetings to help us achieve our goals for each sprint.
So what can we do to make meetings work for us and not against us? Personally, I like the POWER approach. POWER is an acronym that stands for purpose, outcomes, what's in it for them, engagement, and roles and responsibilities. Let's look at these one at a time. First, purpose. Why is this meeting necessary? Do you need the high-touch interaction that meetings provide? Or can you gather the information you need in a more asynchronous fashion? Next, outcomes.
What is the deliverable for your meeting? Will there be a set of action items? Is a decision going to be made? Whatever the goal, your desired outcome should be stated up front. What's in it for them? Why should others care about attending your meeting? What would they learn that can help them to get their jobs done? Engagement is the next ingredient in our POWER soup. How do you plan on getting your participants involved either before, during, or after the meeting? It's very common to have meetings where only one or two people dominate the conversation.
How can you plan ahead to break that pattern? Finally, roles and responsibilities. Who's in charge of making sure the meeting stays on track? Who's going to take notes? How will the action items be handled? It's important to make sure that everyone knows what role they play to make your meetings effective. Now it does require more effort to have effective meetings. But considering we spend at least 15% of our time as a company in meetings, it's worth it.
- Establishing standards and processes
- Project management
- Onboarding and mentoring
- Having effective meetings
- Iteration planning and retrospectives
- Communicating with remote teams