"Meetings. You can't live with them, and you can't live without them." In his article, Hunting Down the No. 1 IT Productivity Killer, Marc Schiller of CIO Insight discusses a few best practices from the venture capital community, and how they might be applied to make our meetings more focused.
Marc gives this advice:
- Replace the 60-minute meeting with 20-minute "units". This is just the right amount of time to do something well. If you need more time than that, it's up to the convener to convince the participants that 2 or more "units" are necessary for the topic.
- Replace agendas with goals. Don't just talk about a topic, work towards a resolution.
- Orient the meeting for follow-up and action items. The real purpose of meetings is to agree to next steps. Don't feel you have to "do" everything in the meeting, assign tasks that will be worked on outside the meeting.
As Matt Senger (Computing Services, UMM) commented to me: "Meetings are like Tribbles." (They multiply.) It's your job as meeting convener to ensure your meetings remain relevant and productive.