Saturday, March 07, 2009

 

Enterprise Architecture: How many meetings do you attend in a day...

Scheduling meetings for a late project makes it later...



Let's go around the table. Hi, I am James McGovern and I am standing in for pointy haired boss of the impediment solutions division. Who else is on the call?

Seriously, You have a problem with schedule. To solve this problem, you start making meetings. People that should be involved with delivering the project start to be involved in this meetings. Project gets later, oh... Yet another meeting will solve it.

A wise executive I know scolds his employees for showing up late to meetings and makes mental notes as to how much wasted time occurs. Imagine if we could equip all the conference rooms in your building with ID badge readers, and big NBA scoreboard-type displays. All meeting participants are required to badge in on their way in the door. The software looks up their salary or contract rates, and provides a minute-by-minute updated view of the cost of the meeting. Unfortunately, this would only capture the direct costs, and not reflect the other inefficiencies related to attending the meeting.

Not all meetings are bad. There is also a tremendous amount of effort wasted when people do not have meetings to ask for clarification, alternatives, or help. When a project is behind, one of the most productive things to do is to get representatives of the development team and the end users together to decide how best to proceed given where we are at today. Likewise, imagine if someone ever figured out the cost of all these meetings where the vast majority of folks who attend aren't prepared to attend.

One meeting tactic that I have been known to encourage those who are behind is to ask themselves whether they would be the stupidest person in the room. If the answer is no, then you probably don't need to make much effort preparing as most meetings slow down to the lowest common denominator.

I wonder how many folks are reading my blog while in a meeting from their Blackberries? I wonder how many meetings I have held up where folks where waiting for me and otherwise wasted a lot of time until I made my grand entrance...




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