Meetings That Don’t Suck

Meeting is a part of our daily job as PM, sometimes it’s the biggest part of the day. However, people have reasons to claim that meetings are the least productive part of the day. How can we get the most out of valuable meetings. Here are some thoughts:


Kill the status meeting

We all know how expensive a long status meeting with a wide audience is.  The wasteful part of it should be replaced by an Information Radiator where anyone can pull the necessary updates on a regular basis. I personally still support status meetings just to focus on the important topics (sometimes required the wide audience’s attention). Then, the outcome of the meetings should be reflected to a public Information Radiator as well.

One-on-one meetings are important

This is the crucial moment to enhance relationships, surface hidden problems, align on vision with your direct reports, designer, engineering leads, etc. It should be immovable or equally important with other meetings. It helps us to learn about our people, listen to them and show that we care.

Well organized

Of course, all meetings should have an owner, agenda ahead of time with sufficient audience. So, people can be prepared, arrange representatives, provide needed inputs or even the answer to make the meeting not necessary anymore. That helps to save time, effort and people can stay productive.

 A busy calendar doesn’t make us important

We might have the feeling of importance with a full calendar or even double, triple booked. However, it might be a sign of ineffectiveness or changes should happen. We all need to have spaces for ad-hoc, unexpected stuff or just for others to reach us. PMs should also have time to focus or just breath and think about important things to do. 

Calendar bankruptcy

This is a very interesting concept to clear everything and start over again. All the debts or unnecessary meetings will be automatically removed and important meetings will be rebooked again. Some startups choose to do this by Jan 1st – the beginning of the year to remove all of the scheduled and repeated meetings. Then, people need to rethink whether it’s worth investing people’s time or any wastes can be eliminated. It saves tons of effort and productive hours for companies.

Do you have another tip to keep meetings productive?