None of us were experts in the art of working remotely prior to the lockdown taking place. We were much like animals, we require fellowship and to herd together. We want to engage in more than just factual tasks, but the restrictions in movement canceled this out to a large degree.
As management at least 50% of your time is spent in meetings. Decisions have to be made, products define and approved, the future of the company is at stake. Most people reference an increase in meetings even though we are restricted to our dwellings. This might be down to less time in the traffic, the urge to ensure everyone is working, or just the loneliness kicking in.
The fact is that meetings over Teams, Zoom, Google, Skype, etc has its challenges and requires structure. Below are some pointers I listened to as part of an audiobook. It might also be applicable to meetings in person as well
Steps to action:
- Things to do prior to a meeting taking place:
- Decide on a need for the meeting. A meeting just to have a meeting is senseless. Be sure that the meeting has a purpose and doesn’t waste people’s time.
- Define the objective of the meeting. What do you want to achieve from this specific meeting?
- Determine attendees. Not everyone is required for each meeting. Invite the people required. They can spread the word.
- Draft an agenda for the meeting. To keep a reasonable structure for the meeting, an agenda helps. Stick to it
- Email your invite and agenda prior to the meeting. This gives people time to prepare.
- During a meeting
- Appoint a leader for the meeting. You do not have to control everything. Swop between leaders.
- Define the objective and outcome of the meeting. State clearly why this meeting is important and what you need to achieve from it.
- Remain on topic and on time. It helps to keep everyone engaged, but also to get to the results you need.
- Capture minutes. It is a drag, but people forget. Also, you might need it as evidence later… For each sprint, capture:
- Action items
- Close with meeting. Ensure a bit of fun as well. Highs and lows. Themes. Personal stories etc.
- Things to do after every meeting:
- Distribute minutes: Give feedback to the team to ensure they know what they are required to do.
- Follow up with a written summary: This could be additional to the minutes, maybe in the form of an email, but will assist as further clarification.
- Summarize the importance of the meeting and that all team members should act on it.
How are you adjusting to meetings during this lockdown? Do you measure output? Comment below.
Written by Rudolf Rautenbach