October 21st 2009 Posted at Project Management
From creative brainstorm meetings at interactive firms to co-op living meetings about weekly chores (and friendly issues ), here are some guidelines on how to host a successful group meeting.
Have a meeting champion.
- This person will run all the pre- through post-meeting necessities: creating meeting agenda, notifying attendees, scheduling, hosting meeting, keeping meeting on track, assigning duties (like a note-taker), publishing relevant info, etc.
Have an agenda.
- This gives you a structured outline for the meeting and sets group expectations.
- First item is always (1) welcome (call to order), “this is what we’re here to do”; second item is always (2) introductions (short and relevant… not necessary if group knows each other); third item is always (3) here is the agenda do we need to add anything.
Everyone creates and agrees on ground rules.
- Do you want mobile devices and laptops on or off? Do you want criticism allowed or an open embracing environment? Is there a moderator everyone should expect to keep meeting on track? Should a subject not be brought up because an hour long tirade always follows? One person speaks at a time? Is a high level of respect required?
- This is only something you have to do for new meetings, if this is a weekly “repeating” meeting the idea is you can reuse the guidelines setup for a meeting of that sort.
Document all comments and assignments where everyone can see them in “real” time… that’s live.
- Have a centralized screen (laptop, projector, tv, whiteboard) with a live feed from the “note-taker.” This works well with digital writeboards where multiple users can access content such as Basecamp or Google Wave.
- Always make sure to document who does what by when.
Designate a centralized place for all meeting-related communication accessible by all stakeholders.
- I especially like structured content management systems for this due to their searchability, version control, and team accessibility.
Reuse Agendas and Ground Rules
- Find what works for your specific group and allows meetings to be efficient as possible. Nothing needs to be rigid; all is adaptable!
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