Meeting Efficiency

Stop wasting everyone's time

Meeting Efficiency
Photo by Radu Prodan / Unsplash

Meetings without goals are, by definition, pointless.

And no, "discuss <issue X>" doesn't count.

A meeting needs to have a clearly defined goal. "Determine root cause of <issue X>" is a good goal. "Create plan for finding root cause of <issue X>" also works. "Answer all questions about <issue X>" can also work, depending on the scenario (although initial questions should be provided in advance). "Discuss" – or, even worse, no agenda at all – doesn't count.

Booking a meeting that doesn't have a clearly defined goal signals to the attendees that you're not willing to invest the time to let them prepare.

It hurts you, too. A well-defined meeting means the meeting can be more efficient. It could even (gasp) end early. Or the goal could be achieved without even needing to meet. Everyone loses when the majority of people don't know what they're walking into and don't know what "done" looks like.

Here's an idea for an Outlook or Gmail addon: automatically decline any meeting request that doesn't have clearly defined goals. Use an LLM or something to check the subject and body of the meeting invite.

If it's not clear what the goal is, send a canned response encouraging the host to not waste people's time (but in a nicer way than that).

Based on a Mastodon post of mine