Meetings are a tricky topic … they are necessary to align our work, discuss important topics and hear other people’s viewpoints. At the same time they can be expensive, tedious and break one’s flow. That’s why we stick to the following principles:
Does it even need to be a meeting?
Sometimes matters can be solved by a quick Slack exchange or face-to-face chat.
Find a time slot with minimal distraction
Check people’s calendars and try to put your meeting towards the start or end of the work day. Avoid between 9:30am and 10:15am because that’s when we usually do daily stand-ups on projects.
Invite all participants necessary to make a decision
Invite all of the people who need to be present for decision-making. We want to solve the matter at hand, not have another meeting because somebody felt excluded.
Always book a room
Your meeting room reservation should be as long as necessary, but as short as possible.
Provide an agenda and/or clear goals
The purpose of the meeting should be clear to all participants.
Start on time, end early
Don’t wait for people who are late. Always start on time and try to finish five minutes early. Keep an eye on the clock.
Keep track of results and decisions
When the meeting starts, decide on one person to keep track of key points and decisions that were made. Post these results in Confluence.
Keep your phone in your pocket
Respect your coworkers: Focus and don’t get distracted by your devices.
Listen and consider other points of view
It should go without saying, but we’re meeting to exchange opinions, observations and give feedback. Listening is a skill and every meeting is an opportunity to get better at it.
Leave when you’re not needed
If you feel you cannot contribute in a meeting, you’re free to politely state that and excuse yourself.
Reach an actionable result
A meeting without a clear result was a waste of time … always define next steps with clear responsibilities and expectations. Point it out if you feel something was left unclear.
Quick retrospective at the end
The last two minutes of the meeting should be dedicated to a round of feedback from each person: Were their expectations met? Is everyone satisfied with the result? Was it well enough prepared and well moderated? No big discussion, just briefly sharing how everyone perceived what happened, so we can improve next time.
Meeting Agenda Template
Answer these questions in the calendar event description:
Why is this meeting happening? What are the agenda points?
Meeting Minutes Template
Keep track of the following:
Key discussion points Decisions that were made Actionable items