A mashup of 2 writings on meetings

Last year, in my more personal blog, I ranted about meetings. Currently, I’m down to 3 regular meetings per week. For the testers’ meetings, I think they previously had the meeting manager role rotate across the members. But I opted to just preside over the meetings for now and so far we’ve been starting on time, I prepare beforehand for whatever needs to be announced or discussed so I reckon the meeting goes smoothly, and we end earlier if not on time.

So I mentioned I had ranted about meetings, here are just some excerpts from the rants…

[Jul] …What turns me off about meetings anyway. Here’s the stuff I loathe about meetings… all center on it not being done right:

  1. Meetings that don’t start on time. Time is eaten up waiting for everyone to arrive. And just as you’re about to start someone excuses themselves so that’s yet another delay.
  2. Meetings with no agenda. No point, no objective, no direction.
  3. Meetings without someone presiding well over it. When the discussion has gone off track, it simply continues to go downhill.
  4. Meetings wherein attendees are ill-prepared.
  5. Meetings wherein attendees are there but aren’t really present.
  6. Meetings with no minutes. Yes, commit everything to memory.
  7. Meetings wherein the same things are being said over and over again. This happens when folks aren’t really paying attention, or when someone comes in late and asks the same thing.
  8. Meetings that drag on for hours.
  9. Meetings that were set on a short notice without the slightest hint of apology for being called at a short notice. Yes, my life revolves around you — I have no other plans that would have to be moved around.

[Nov] …In instances like these, I feel penalized for actually being on time and for even bothering to book the conference room ahead of time. Which is weird because those should be as expected. So no more Ms. Nice Punctual guy. I’m setting some meeting policies.

  1. Be there on time! +/- 5 minutes. Especially if you’re the one who called the meeting.
  2. Notify! Notify in advance if the meeting is canceled. Notify if there are changes to the meeting. Period.
  3. One third to two thirds in and the meeting hasn’t started buys me the right to consider the meeting canceled.
  4. If the meeting location was initially set as TBD, let folks know where the venue is even before the meeting starts.
  5. If you’ve hijacked my room reservation, I can politely kick you out of the meeting room.

One thought on “A mashup of 2 writings on meetings

  1. OMG… i’m so glad my company isn’t like that. I’ve been in jobs before where every single rant item you specified was totally true.

    The company I work for now is a client centric organization where time is billable for direct work being done. Some work gets done in meetings (client strategy, requirements reviews, reviews in general, etc). However, where I”m at even those meetings are clearly defined for what is supposed to happen and be solved during.

    However, pretty much every person invited to each meeting is optional (unless without you there is no meeting). It’s easy to get out of them if you really don’t need to be there and it’s perfectly acceptable to leave early if you’re no longer needing to be there.

    I guess it comes down to respect for time. Yes, it’s company time, but it’s client time as well.

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