Executives spend 23 hours per week in meetings, on average. This means, as an executive, you spend more than half of your working hours in meetings, but when the deadline comes you don’t feel satisfied with the end result. So, what’s going on with meetings and how can you make them more productive?
First of all, you must make sure your team fully understands your ideas and expectations.
How do you achieve that?
Well, let’s see how effective meetings really are. For starters, studies tell us that 9 out of 10 people who don’t have the role of moderator daydream in meetings and 73% of employees do other work while in a meeting. What about the moderator? 25% of meetings are spent discussing irrelevant issues and 75% of people have received no formal training on how to conduct a meeting. Bottom line, about half of the meetings become at least unproductive if not counterproductive.
In this article, I will tackle the issue of how to make software development meetings between the client and the agency more productive.
The first meeting is the initial briefing.
In this meeting, the client is expected to come prepared with a list of core features and a short description of how the product will be used. It is recommended that you have these two written down, so the other party can easily follow your train of thought. Don’t be that person that says they have it all in their head. Moreover, this practice can drastically reduce the duration of the meeting since communication is more efficient.
After this, comes the step in which you have weekly status meetings. Here’s where developers show what they have done so far and the client gives feedback and speaks his mind about desired changes. Try to use these meetings to their full potential, because if you mindlessly rush to agree to whatever the other party tells you, you will end up in a final delivery meeting in which you as a client will be disappointed by the end result.
Use the weekly status meeting to shape the product while it is built. It saves time and resources for both stakeholders and the technical team. If you apply these practices, you can guarantee that the release will be smooth and the workflow will be undisturbed. Of course, there are fringe-case exceptions, but that’s why this method deals with such small increments, so you can minimize the risk of them ever happening.
The main takeaway from this is that you, the creator and main driver of the project, are expected to work shoulder to shoulder with the development team.
Imagine the project as a ship. The developers are the sailors. Their job is to keep the ship moving forward. You, the captain of the ship, have to lead the way and steer them in the right direction. You can’t do that without checking your map and compass from time to time, can you?
Leaving the rum aside, make sure you always tell your development team PRECISELY what you want and what your expectations are. This way, your meetings will start to be effective and by the end of the project, they won’t feel like a waste of time anymore.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Will Durant (“The Story of Philosophy”, 1926)
So, with that in mind, what I encourage you to do, is to take everything that I told you and apply it to your next meetings. Make a habit out of it.
Sooner than you might think, your meetings’ effectiveness will improve and you will be one step closer to your project’s success.
If you need help with any of your software challenges feel free to book a free strategy call with Andrei, Neo Vision’s CTO.
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