Conducting Effective Meetings at DevLink 2010

I’ve sat in a lot of really poorly run meetings. Meetings that didn’t start on time, didn’t end on time, and didn’t accomplish anything. What a waste of time! And time is a precious resource in any organization.

Early in my career, I didn’t think it was my place to try to improve the meetings. Later I assumed it was just the way things worked. Eventually I realized that I was wrong on both accounts. Meetings can and should be better than they are.

So, I actively sought ways to make every meeting better. After much research, trial, and error, I’ve discovered some best practices for conducting meetings. I’ve also learned some things I can do to help improve meetings that I attend but don’t run.

I’m going to share these best practices later this afternoon during a session that I’m giving at devLINK. Here’s a link to the slide deck I’ll use.

Here’s a summary of my best practices:

  • Distribute an agenda prior to the meeting. Without an agenda, people won’t know how to prepare ahead of time and the meeting will wander
  • Have clearly defined purpose & outcome. Let your attendees know exactly what you expect to accomplish during the meeting.
  • Start the meeting with a welcome, an agenda review, introductions, & ground rules. This sets the tone for the rest of the meeting.
  • Keep to the agenda. Don’t drift; don’t run over.
  • Create and document action items. Make sure everyone leaves the meeting with a clear understanding of who agreed to do what by when.
  • Appoint a scribe to take & distribute notes. The notes don’t have to be fancy; just cover the decisions reached and action items assigned.

Questions:

  • Have I missed a good practice?
  • Are your meetings productive?
  • What do you do to make the run smoothly?
About these ads

6 Responses to Conducting Effective Meetings at DevLink 2010

  1. robert says:

    Joe, great list! One possible addition is end the meeting with a wrap-up to give people a final opportunity to clarify points and ensure everyone leaves with a common understanding.

  2. Joe says:

    Thanks for coming today, Robert! I hope you found it worth while. Good point about adding a final point to then meeting agenda.

  3. Joe, great list! One possible addition is end the meeting with a wrap-up to give people a final opportunity to clarify points and ensure everyone leaves with a common understanding.
    +1

    • Joe says:

      Thanks for the re-enforcement. I’ll add that to the slide deck for when I do my next lunch and learn or conference presentation.

  4. Pingback: Making Presentations With My iPad « WebbTech Solutions

  5. Pingback: Book Review: The Lazy Project Manager « WebbTech Solutions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers