Shimin Zhang, a developer from Denver, has meticulously analysed the cost of every meeting that disrupts a developer’s ‘flow state.’ According to his estimates, one hour of a developer’s ‘flow state’ amounts to $192. Thus, if a meeting consumes time without yielding any tangible benefits, it equates to wasted money.

How can we steer clear of ‘meeting madness’?

  1. Optimise timing.
    Conduct time-bound meetings and select time slots based on the specific purpose of the discussion. Additionally, consider scheduling days devoid of meetings to bolster productivity.
  2. Enforce time management.
    Appoint someone to monitor speaking durations and encourage adherence to the agenda. Time constraints will prompt speakers to present their ideas briefly and precisely.
  3. Limit attendees.
    Reducing the number of participants minimises time expenditure and fosters more meaningful discussions with each attendee. Moreover, for certain meetings, involving only the team leader who can then deliver critical information to the team may be sufficient, thus optimising time allocation.
  4. Preparation is key.
    It’s imperative that all attendees come prepared with clear ideas, reports, or problem descriptions. Preparing discussion points and circulating them to the team beforehand facilitates effective communication and expedites task resolution.
  5. Hold meetings selectively.
    Conduct meetings only when necessary, such as for brainstorming sessions or discussing specific topics. For disseminating information to the team, utilising chat or email proves to be more efficient.
  6. Recap and delegate responsibility.
    Ensure that all tasks assigned during the meeting or issues raised are addressed promptly. Discussing decisions, setting deadlines, assigning responsibilities, and distributing tasks among participants are crucial steps. Additionally, circulating a brief summary of the meeting to all attendees helps maintain clarity and accountability.

With effective organisation, team meetings not only contribute to project success but also cultivate a comfortable environment for every team member.