It is amazing how much time is wasted in meetings that have no potential of being productive.
You have to watch this video that highlights this point in a very painful way:
I would like to say that this sort of thing is just so far out there that it can’t happen. Unfortunately, I have been in too many of these types of meetings and leave every time frustrated. They are wasting their money.
When you’re ready to actually head down the path of a re-design or a new website or anything that involves a creative/functional team, here are some things to consider BEFORE you start which will save you not only an amazing amount of time, but an exceptional amount of pain:
- Clearly define what you are trying to accomplish. Don’t design/build ahead of time, just come up with what you’re hoping to have at the end. Do you want some new functionality? Do you want a new website for a specific function/reason?
- Keep your team small and efficient. People who are not actively involved in the work need to not be at the table. Distracting discussions and tangents will kill a project faster than anything else. Realize that each person at the table is costing you money per minute that they sit there – including your own team!
- Have a time-frame and a budget in mind. You don’t have to show your hand on how much you have to spend, but have a ballpark. You can cut down on so much wasted time by just getting right to the point.
- If you’re going to show slides, don’t just read the slides. Hit the primary points and deliver the slides to everyone for review later (hint: they probably won’t actually read them anyway and will appreciate your brevity in the meeting).
- Give people something to think about BEFORE they attend the meeting. There is nothing worse than attending a meeting where people are just responding “off the cuff”. Give people time to consider what you’re hoping to achieve before they even come to the meeting so they can come with some thought on the subject and can speak a bit more intelligently to what is being discussed.
The overall goal is: do your work before you meet. Come ready to meet. Come ready to work. You’re paying for everyone at the table so make sure you are using the time in the best way possible!