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How do solve the problem of endless meetings with few results?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 20936 Views // 1 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Agile Methods, General, Project Management


There are a couple of ways you can ensure that your meetings are producing results rather than endless discussion. Here are two options that can work, each catering to a different organizational environment.

If you work in a more traditional corporate environment that is resistant to change, simple setting aside 5-10 mins at the end of each meeting to bring it to an appropriate close can make a huge difference. This ensures that your meetings move from conversation to impactful decisions.

During the last 5-10 mins do the following:

  1. Review Meeting Accomplishments: This ensures that there is consensus among the group about what has been resolved or accomplished. It also surfaces any outstanding questions that some meeting participants may have. These can quickly be addressed.
  2. Identify Next Steps: What are the specific next steps that need to occur to maintain momentum from the meeting and carry the group and project forward? Identify next steps and assign tasks with specific deadlines.

If you work in an environment that is more open to change, one of the most effective approaches is to implement a Daily Stand-up Meeting.

The Daily Standup Meeting, is a daily status meeting where a small team (ideally around 6-9 members) meets and updates one another on the work that has been completed and what will be completed next. It’s intended to be very quick and last only 10-15 minutes.

During each meeting the facilitator asks each team member 3 questions:

  • What did you do since the last meeting?
  • Were there any obstacles that impeded your work?
  • What will you do before the next meeting?

You can see the similarity between the daily standup meeting and the closing portion of a more traditional meeting. The daily standup meeting actually accomplishes quite a lot as it focuses the team and emphasizes accomplishments and next steps. It doesn’t eliminate the need for other meetings but it certainly reduces the number that are typically needed. As challenges and obstacles faced by team members are raced, often other meetings are created to do a deep dive and solve these problems.

So ultimately, both of these methods can be used together to achieve your goal of more effective meetings.

Chris Adams
LinkedIn Profile



Christophe posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 8:16 AM
Thanks Chris, help me a lot! Communications with Stakeholders can be challenging, meeting is most important point on the evolution of business!
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