While the whole world is working remotely these days the rules for efficient meeting stay the same. Event sitting in the same room people get bored and lost focus, but working from home makes the problem of keeping focus event worse. So what we can do as leaders to cheer up your teams and make meetings event more productive?
A lot of meetings lack 2 things - who should participate and what we should discuss?
Who and what are essential questions for efficient meetings. There are 4 meeting types which also answer these questions:
- Daily Check-in meeting(what - share daily updates and activities; who - your team)
- Weekly Staff(what - review weekly activities and metrics, do not set agenda until reporting is finished; who - your team and peers)
- Adhoc Topical - (what - a meeting to discuss specific problems and obstacles; who - problem stakeholders)
- Quarterly Off-site Review (what - strategy review meeting, team development and industry trends discussion; who - your team)
We can easily map these meeting types to any agile framework. By mapping, your current meetings to 4 types above will help you improve your meeting with remote teammates.
But there is one more ingredient which upgrades usual boring meeting to super exciting discussion with meaningful action points. This is what distinguishes a good film or story from bad ones. This is drama or conflict. Good meetings have got a conflict in the beginning. This conflict keeps the whole team responsible for the results. You don't need to have a conflict for every meeting, but if you want to find one you can use data about your team. We at Valycs provide teams with mean full engineering data, such as: Git statistics and Jira issues reports, which allows to analyze the whole delivery pipeline for the team.
To illustrate what I'm talking about I'll give you an example. On Weekly Staff meeting team usually reviews its metrics. One of the metrics to review is a Queue Length(number of tickets at a specific stage). From the dashboard, the team sees that InProgress queue is growing the second week in a row. In this case, the team can start a fruit-full discussion on how to reduce it. If the team can't find an answer on the meeting they should continue on Adhoc Topical meeting. For this meeting, a couple of people is assigned to dig deep in the topic and prepare some data and solutions for Adhoc Topical.
All these rules were well discovered by Patrick Lencioni in his book - "Death by meetings" https://www.amazon.com/Death-Meeting-Leadership-Solving-Business/dp/0787968056