How to organize an effective meeting

How to organize an effective meeting

- 1 min

I can’t sugar coat it. A lot of people, but mostly developers, hate meetings. If unproductive, the meetings consume a lot of time and energy without reaching the goal. If you’re planning a meeting with developers, keep in mind that developers need long uninterrupted time periods of concentrated work.

How then can we organise an effective meeting with an engaged audience?

Agenda, agenda, agenda

Make sure the meeting has a clear purpose and that everyone knows about it. Start with creating an agenda and make sure you set a goal. Then ask yourself if everyone should be in the meeting. The more people you invite, the more time the meeting takes. Let everyone know why you’re inviting them. Share info (designs/docs/notes) related to the meeting so everyone can read in on the topic. State the problem/mission and what to get out of the meeting. Plan the meeting well ahead of time so everyone can read up and prepare. Time-box your meeting (keep it short, try max 30 minutes). If you run out of time, decide with the group if and when you’d like to plan another meeting and who you’d like to attend. If someone calls a meeting without a clear purpose, the creation of an agenda would have pointed that out and the meeting would not have happened. This saves valuable time!

Timing is everything

Ok, ok, I’ll admit that not everyone hates meetings necessarily, but people do hate having their time wasted. If you’re planning a meeting with a team of developers, talk to them about their working/ coding hours so you can plan around it. The assumed ideal time would be to plan a meeting in the morning or late afternoon. Because in order to be productive, the teams need to be able to work on their project without interruption. Which in turn gives them time to get stuff done and maybe ship some code!

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