Effective Meetings

How many meetings do you go to each week?  What percentage of your typical day is tied up in meetings?  Are these meetings adding value to your work and to your customers?  Lean practice is about eliminating waste, non-value adding activities.  Since knowledge based work and service driven processes seem to require more meetings than a manufacturing environment it is important to identify the value of a meeting as a lot of waste can be hidden within them.  Here are some tips to help you hold a effective and valuable meeting:

  • Identify the purpose of the meeting and why it needs to be held.
  • Identify what objectives or decisions need to be met in the meeting.
  • Create a schedule that includes the meeting purpose, objectives and decisions to share with those invited.   This does not have to be a formal agenda, it can simply be within an email of invitation request.
  • Determine the length of the meeting based on it’s purpose and objective.  Schedule shorter or longer increments of time, do not feel fixated on the one hour meeting.
  • Stick to the meeting agenda and record follow-up tasks and action items that are a result of discussion.
  • Relay decisions made and assign the follow-up tasks and action items at the end of the meting so that all attendees know what is expected at the meetings close.


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