Monday, October 29, 2007

Meetings

I've never been in a meeting that was longer than one hour, or had more than four people that achieved anything. I'm being generous with the hour, too.

Why do long meetings continue to exist? I'm becoming more and more convinced that long meetings are a power play. They exist to re-inforce the importance of the person who was able to convince everyone else to show up. Nothing else. Who needs a four hour meeting attended by 20 people about a project that's late?

I'm curious to hear about situations where they've had a good meeting (decisions made) that lasted more than an hour or a large number of attendees. Do they work for you?

2 comments:

Andy Chilton said...

Yep, all the meetings I ever go to are well over 80% useless.

The one difference is when I run them myself even though I wasn't asked to. That way I get what I want from the meeting and then just go to sleep until either the client or a superior says it's over, usually at my constant nagging.

Have you seen stuff about 'Stand Up' meetings? I know a few groups around here that do that and it seems to work. A short but daily catchup, then you never need those big "what went wrong" meetings.

Jason Pollock said...

It's fun taking control of those meetings. :)

"I'm sorry to interrupt, why are we here?"
...
"Can we discuss that first? Then 5 of us can leave."
...
"Thanks, we'll let you get on to your discussion."

Deterministic does that on conference calls - he's a hero to some of the more junior devs. :)

I've used daily stand ups before. I've run them, but I haven't seen a really good one. It seemed to end up being the standard status meeting updates. I wasn't sure if that worked well or not. Probably just me not knowing what they were really about.

That happens a lot, I need to see a good version and then I go, "Ah, that's what I should be aiming for!"