Meetings are a great way to keep each member within an organization streamlined and updated. It also helps to keep everyone involved both personally and professionally, ensuring that each member is passionate and driven to reach targets and achieve the company’s overall vision.
However, meetings also eat up a lot of time. If not done properly, it can drain energy, lower morale, and can result to more discord. As product manager, it helps to ensure that each and every meeting you attend or hold will help the company move towards a successful product development. How, then, can you hold a successful meeting? Here are some tips to attain more efficient and productive meetings.
Don’t Hold Unnecessary Meetings
Time spent in meetings is time spent away from production. If the purpose of your meeting is to update everyone and make sure that each personnel is doing the job according to what was planned, it may just be a waste of precious production hours.
As a product manager, it is your responsibility to measure costs and benefits. if there are 10 people attending a one-hour meeting, then that relates to 10 paid hours that is supposed to be spent on the engineering or production floor.
Invite Just the VIPs and Make Sure They Attend
So you call for a very important meeting, and ask the chiefs and supervisors to attend. However, they’re too busy and they send in their assistants or subordinates, people who are not in authority to make important decisions. This is one of the top reasons why meetings fail.
As mentioned, meetings should not waste people’s time and effort. To avoid this, limit your attendees to just the very important people — decide who really need to be there. By reducing the number of attendees to just the ones that matter, you save time and effort because important decisions can be made during the meeting, not after, and actions can immediately be taken to solve problems or issues discussed.
Make a Written Agenda and Time Schedule, and Stick to It
When calling the meeting and naming the persons who are required to attend, write an invitation and indicate why each attendee needs to be there and what topic each of them will need to report. This will let people understand what is expected from them during the meeting and helps to avoid discussing unnecessary topics.
Stick to the specified meeting agenda and make it count. It is very common during meetings for attendees to have off-topic conversations or chatter. Make sure this doesn’t happen by informing everybody about the time schedule. Remember that wasting time during meetings is counter-productive.
Committing to dates or action plans can be very difficult, but demanding exact and precise language during meetings can help instill a more professional demeanor from each attendee. Don’t be satisfied with answers such as “we will get to it soon” or “it is almost ready”. Make sure your attendees use exact timeframes, number of hours, percentages, and exact data when presenting.
Take Minutes of the Meeting and Send Each Attendee a Copy
Recapping what transpired during the meeting is very important to remind each attendee what was agreed upon or promised. This also helps things get done during the timeframe agreed upon, and boosts morale. This also helps to make sure that everyone is on the same page, preventing misunderstandings and the need for a follow-up meeting.
If you want to become more efficient and productive as a product manager, there are product management trainings that will help learn new skills and techniques, such as the workshops by Product School.
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