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?
Advertisements

9 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

  6. Nelia says:

    Keep these aretilcs coming as they’ve opened many new doors for me.

  7. La verdad es que me ha sorprendido el artículo. No había pensado nunca que fuera necesario animar a la lectura desde un punto de vista del marketing. Y te lo dice una bibliotecaria!! Me ha gustado, y puedo añadir que, a veces, un buen tocho alivia las tensiones diarias y laborales que hayas podido tener. Incluso, cuánto más paja, mejor.Un saludo!

  8. The confident, stylish and beautiful women in their 70's that you showcase are so inspiring. Zoya, Beatrix Ost, Joyce, Mary and the fabulous Lynn Dell set such wonderful examples to us all. They are so individualistic in their style and personalities. I won't mind getting older if I can be like them!

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