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Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

Successful Meeting

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2010 at 8:40 am

As a meeting organizer you have a moral responsibility to be of value to the attendees. If you called a meeting and you are not fully prepared for the meeting, you have robbed people of their valuable time. Meetings cost companies resources, time and money.

It is not uncommon to find yourselves in a meeting where the organizer is winging it. People do notice whether or not you are prepared, whether they are adding value to the meeting, or gaining anything out of the meeting. Sadly, there are websites that coach you on how to wing a meeting.

It is a crime to call a meeting without an agenda 🙂 Its not hard to put together an agenda if you know the objective of the meeting. If you do not have an objective, then why do you want to meet? Now these are the easy parts of requesting the meeting. While they are important and give structure to a meeting, how do you improve the success of your meetings?

  • First, it is essential you do your homework. Yes, work is somewhat like school! What do you or the audience need to know/do before the meeting so that the items in the agenda can be discussed productively? For important meetings, you may have to do have preparatory sessions with a subset of the invitees if needed.
  • If you expect someone to present, discuss this with them in advance and get their presentation material ahead of time.
  • If you are the subject matter expert, then think about what you want your audience to take away and design your presentation accordingly.
  • Have clear call to action.
  • Ensure people know their deliverable by sending out the meeting recording, action items, etc.

Hope these help you to make the best use of everyone’s time. Happy meeting! Please share your tips for a productive meeting or horror stories about some of the worst meetings you’ve been in 🙂

A living document seldom lives

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2010 at 6:42 am

Documenting your work can be dreary. Its not as creative as writing a piece of code or solving a problem, which are fun activities. Unless you are a document writer, chances are you do not look forward to this part of the job. However, it is important to document your work so that:

  • Some time from now you can look back and recollect what you did
  • Pass the work to someone else and you can move to solve the next problem
  • It may be required if you are in certain type of industry or for certain customers
  • Its good housekeeping to close the project correctly

There are circumstances however, where a process is created to keep documents current ‘just because’. When your team is going at the pace of 500 miles per hour, if you require them to document every little change or development, you have to ensure that you have the right business justification for it and provide resources to facilitate this.

Expecting your team to keep a document alive can be a painful process. It can slow down the progress. Eventually, the looming project deadline will always take priority over writing a document. This renders your living document aged and untouched. Instead, keep the work flow & work style of your people in mind when you request something of them. Create a process that fits their style to create a win-win situation. Can you request them to just jot down key points during the project? Then can they write a complete and proper document at the end of the project and close the loop?

I would like to hear your ideas on the topic.