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Successful meetings

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How to prepare for and run successful meetings.

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Successful meetings

  1. 1. A Framework and strategies for running successful meetings. March 13, 2013Mike Boucher, PMP, PE, CSM 1
  2. 2.  Attendees of the presentation will take home ◦ A framework for producing successful meetings ◦ At least one or two specific techniques to apply immediately to improve their own meetings ◦ Even If you don‟t hold meetings yourself, you should still be able to take away one or two ideas for improving that weekly department or project meeting that you dread 2
  3. 3.  A successful meeting is a meeting in which meeting objectives are met, decisions are codified, and participants leave with the feeling that their time was well spent. 3
  4. 4.  Core Tenets of successful meetings Applying the tenets ◦ Preparing for the meeting ◦ Running the meeting ◦ After the meeting 4
  5. 5.  Respect people‟s time Manage expectations Write it down Be inclusive 5
  6. 6.  Everyone in your meeting is very busy and has other commitments and priorities – be cognizant of that as you plan and run your meeting ◦ Start the meeting on time ◦ End the meeting on time – if you run out of time, ask before you go over the allotted time ◦ Don‟t schedule the meeting for an hour if you can cover the topics in 20 or 30 minutes ◦ Avoid rat holes  “This is a really good point, but we don‟t have time to go deeper today. Let‟s table this and pick it up in a follow-up meeting” 6
  7. 7.  The more that attendees understand the purpose and structure of the meeting, the easier it will be for them to engage and contribute to the meeting goal  Define purpose/goal of the meeting  Provide context  Provide agenda  Review the agenda with attendees  Sometimes you find out that what you thought was the purpose of the meeting is not the right purpose – or the agenda is not the right agenda. Find this out at the beginning of the meeting so you can adjust the goal/agenda and get the meeting off to a good start 7
  8. 8.  Project/share your desktop during the meeting Take notes during the meeting Send the notes out after the meeting Allowing people to see what you are writing ◦ serves as a reality check of what people think they heard  “No, Mike, that‟s not what I meant” ◦ Writing something down reinforces the messages > people can hear it and see it “That was a very complicated discussion the last few minutes. Can someone boil that down to 1 sentence for me for the notes?” > excellent way to gain or verify consensus OR “This is what I think I just heard – did I write it down correctly?” 8
  9. 9.  Be sensitive to the position and personality of each attendee and make an effort to engage them in the meeting > this will help achieve a stronger and lasting consensus  Junior or shy people may be hesitant to speak out, but often times their questions or feedback may raise practical issues that have been overlooked  Take a second to welcome new members or attendees  “Linda – thanks for coming to our weekly QA standup meeting. It‟s nice to have you here.”  “OK – we‟ve covered our agenda. Before we close the meeting, let‟s go around the horn. Nancy, do you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions? Brent – how about you?, etc.” 9
  10. 10. ◦Preparing for the meeting Creating the meeting invitation Stubbing the notes◦Running the meeting◦After the meeting 10
  11. 11.  A successful meeting starts with a good invitation ◦ Stated purpose ◦ Stated agenda ◦ Right people (mandatory & optional) ◦ Context (if needed)  Supporting materials  Brief history ◦ Minimum duration ◦ Clear and easy connection instructions  (readable) Phone number in the subject line 11
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  13. 13.  Since you will be projecting your desktop/notes during the meeting, stub out the meeting notes before the meeting Use the stub notes to drive the meeting Trick: Use OneNote to create a nice looking meeting note stub. The next 2 slides show an example of stub notes 13
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  16. 16.  Show your desktop Welcome each person – add them to attendee list at the top Review / sanity-check the agenda Take notes during the meeting – using the framework in your stub notes Watch for rat holes Watch the time! If a strong personality is doing most of the talking, interject and bring in other attendees 16
  17. 17.  Don‟t try to capture everything – just key stuff Don‟t get hung up on spelling – you can fix it later Highlight action items and key points as you go along Capture the result of complex discussions in 1 or 2 sentences 17
  18. 18.  Your attendees are very busy and have many responsibilities beyond what was discussed in your meeting Approach action items not as contract items that will be used to nail someone, but rather as simple reminders that help the person remember what they need to do > by writing a good action item, you are making their job easier For each action item, strive to ◦ Identify a clear owner ◦ Write the action as specifically as possible ◦ Write the action in words that the owner agrees with (have them help you write the action) > you want to make it as easy as possible for them to follow-up 18
  19. 19.  Good Ones ◦ Mike – cancel task #12345 in Quality Center ◦ Molly – Update spec #97235 to account for the COB use case (target end of week) ◦ Nancy – provide testing timelines to Mike by tomorrow afternoon ◦ Mike – schedule a follow-up meeting for the end of next week Bad Ones ◦ Investigate the COB issue [who? What is the outcome?] ◦ Molly – update the spec [for what?, which spec?, when?] 19
  20. 20.  Finish the Notes ◦ Create a meeting summary at the top of the notes  Capture what was accomplished or agreed to as well as what was not accomplished  Pull from the body, starting with the key points you highlighted in blue (clean up as needed) ◦ Collect the Next Steps and Action items at the top  Assign an owner and a clear action > makes it easy for people to remember what they need to do Most people will only read the summary and action items – so make them clear, concise, and complete! Send the notes to all attendees Store the notes on the intranet 20
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  23. 23.  Even if you are „just a meeting participant‟, you can still coach the meeting organizer: ◦ At the beginning of the meeting: “Excuse me, but before we start, would you mind going over the goals of the meeting? And what‟s our agenda for today?” ◦ At the beginning of the meeting: “Are you going to send notes out afterwards?” ◦ During the meeting: “That was a great discussion the past 5 minutes, but I am not sure where we ended up. Can someone summarize that for me?” ◦ During the meeting: “Would you please add an entry in the notes for me to follow-up on that?” 23
  24. 24.  For potentially difficult or highly charged meetings, it can help to tag team on the notes ◦ You are running a meeting in which there are some very difficult characters and you know you will have to be on your toes > ask someone before the meeting to take notes for you.  “Hey Matt – would you be sure to make a note of that?” ◦ If you know the meeting is going to cover some complicated topics beyond what your PM knows, offer to take notes during the meeting, then send them to him/her to incorporate into the official notes. 24
  25. 25.  Framework and strategies for running a meeting in which objectives are met, decisions are codified, and participants leave satisfied Core Tenets  Respect people‟s time  Manage expectations  Write it down  Be inclusive 3 stages of a meeting  Preparing for the meeting  Running the meeting  After the meeting Couple of tricks  Use OneNote to create a nice header  Use color to highlight key points and action items in the notes  Project/share your desktop during the meeting as you take notes 25
  26. 26.  Thanks for listening – lets open it up for questions and discussion…. 26
  27. 27. Mike Boucher, PMP, PE, CSMProject & Program Management, SDLC, IT DevelopmentMike is a Development Project and Program Manager with diversified work experience in companiesranging from start-ups to Fortune 500. Mike has a passion to increase the quality and transparencyof healthcare through the use of Information Technology. He has degrees in Electrical Engineeringfrom the University of Wisconsin and a Graduate Certificate in Pharmaceutical & BiomedicalRegulatory Affairs from the University of Georgia.Mike is a Development Program Manager at NextGen Healthcare, a provider of EHR, financial, andHIE solutions for hospitals, health systems, physician practices, and other healthcare organizations.Prior to working at NextGen, Mike worked in the Wireless Telecom and Professional Audioindustries.From 2010 – 2012, Mike served as volunteer Director of Technology on the Project ManagementInstitute‟s Healthcare Community of Practice, whose mission is to expand project managementknowledge in the healthcare industry.Mike is a member of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the ProjectManagement Institute, the Atlanta Software and Systems Process Improvement Network, GeorgiaBIO, and the Technology Association of Georgia.Contact Mike at mikeboucher@yahoo.comFind Mike on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikedsp/ 27