Pump up the Volume, not the Meeting Noise

So after reading that product and process centric piece from Howard, I thought a bit around this topic and ultimately landed on meeting noise as a concept. Again, not that I agree, since I think it’s the mix of the process and product components which drives work satisfaction. So what is meeting noise?

I wish it represented an engaging [tag]meeting[/tag] where people were thoughtful, active and productive which ran a little long and loud – its not. It’s that bazaar re-occurring meeting that only 1/12 of the invitees attend. It’s typically a low priority project which is far away from the revenue center. It has [tag]cost center[/tag] all over it!

My take is we pay smart people to do this kinda stuff, so it’s better to allocate your time towards money and not hang out in a intrinsically internal meeting such as how to market an internal event like team appreciation day. I’m not saying team appreciation is bad, but the 9 weeks of planning and 24 hours of scheduled [tag]meetings[/tag] are a little much. At the end of the day, get good [tag]tchotchkes[/tag] for folk – exceed budget on this line item, it’s worth it on many levels.

That being said, trust the people that do this and let them go. The dollars saved on poorly attended meetings with resource usage justifies going a little over budget. So unless theirs contractors on the project or a weak player on the project let them run with it and encourage less is more on statusing the project.

So I waxed philosophical for a second, back to the meeting. So when you attend the first one – everyone is there, all 14 people. During the meeting you realize that it has only 7 minutes of content, which somehow due to bad cell connections, random questions and content “cat walks” closes at a bloated 47 minutes.

Fast forward 2 weeks – you dial in cuz you have space in outlook and are looking for some corporate current events. Remember there could be a corporate quiz at the appreciation day on the hardware upgrade project and you want an iPod for your 6 year old.

The content is still at 7 minutes, but there is this 9 minutes of awkward small talk as only 3 people plan on attending as the host gives folks a “few more minutes to show”. The host slowing plod through the agenda building out the content on the fly with situational overviews dragging the meeting to 27 minutes.

So please reduce the [tag]meeting noise[/tag] and do project updates every 2 weeks or only reserve 30 minutes for a weekly meeting. A tight time box will encourage tighter questions, more organization and increased value through directed project content.

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