Effective Meetings

I heard from many developers that they don’t like working meetings. They say: “Waste of time”, “Rallies are useless”, “When do you work?” So, if you have such meetings, then you are clearly doing something wrong.

The first rule of the meeting – Cancel the meeting if you can resolve the issue in the chat

Down with meetings for the sake of meetings and meetings for every sneeze. If you think you can do without a meeting, cancel!

Try to solve the problem in chat

Perhaps in a couple of messages you will destroy everything. You can prepare a document and show it in a chat to other people, ask for asynchronous feedback. And it’s in the hat.

If the problem cannot be solved in the chat, think again

Before setting up a meeting, you need to understand whether this is really the best way to solve the issue. Meetings usually help

  1. Solve something quickly (chat communication can last all day, because each person answers when it suits him, so you get a big ping).

  2. Solve a complex problem, the description / methods of solving which takes a long time to type on the keyboard.

  3. Discuss an issue that requires real time discussion.

If you are not solving a problem that fits the description above, most likely the rally is not needed.

Okay, you realized that you can’t do without a meeting. Well let’s go.

Describe the expected result

A meeting without a result is time wasted. Decide what you want to get / decide / what to negotiate.

Tell the meeting participants about it. People need to know why they are wasting their time. The earlier the better! This will help everyone stick to the plan during the rally. Participants may also notice that the issue can be resolved without a rally. Or suggest who else needs to be added or removed from the list of invitees. All this can be done only by knowing what the actual goal is.

Add an agenda and pre-read

In the description of the rally, describe what plan of action. For example, what questions you want to answer, what topics to discuss.

Context is good. If you have a document with a description of the task, graphs, data, attach links to the agenda so that the participants familiarize themselves with the contents in advance. Then during the meeting people will be able to imagine what’s what. What is much more effective is frantically trying to retell a 5-page document in a 5-minute meeting.

Keep track of time

Often (especially if there are a lot of people or a complex topic), you can not have time to achieve a result if you do not keep track of time. The one who organizes the rally keeps track of time.

In order to get everything done, write down the amount of time allotted for discussing each issue from the agenda and follow each small block during the meeting. If you see that you are not on time with some block, remind the participants that you have little time left and that you should come to a consensus.

And yes, breaking into blocks really works, because you can quickly understand that you are not on time. When, if there is no understanding of how long a specific issue has been discussed, then there is a big risk only by the end of the meeting to understand that nothing has been done.

Do not discuss what does not lead to the achievement of the result of the rally

Often, participants begin to discuss things that seem to be related, but not necessary for solving a specific problem. As the organizer of the meeting, you must follow the direction of the discussion and stop all attempts to talk about something not of first importance.


Product X launch delayed, rally aims to understand how to speed up launch

  • [кто-то]: We can’t make feature Y

  • [Вы]: Is it blocking the launch?

  • [кто-то]: Not

  • [Вы]: Then let’s discuss it later / after we discuss all the blockers / discuss in chat / discuss never

Don’t Forget Next Steps

If there are no Next steps, it is not clear what to do next and how to move the product / task. Try to leave the meeting with clear next steps that all meeting participants agreed to (this is important!). Otherwise, if the rally was held, but there were no actions, most likely you did not advance / will not advance anywhere.

Write a meeting summary

For you, as the creator of the meeting, the meeting does not end when everyone has left. A good meeting ends when you (or someone else) has written down a summary of the meeting and the next steps and shared it with the participants. So you

  • Get hold people accountable on next steps

  • You will protect yourself by writing down everything you agreed on. So that no one would say: “I don’t remember, so it didn’t happen.”

  • Those who were not at the meeting will see what you agreed to.

Cancel unimportant appointments. No regrets

Everything is simple here. Cancel appointments that do not seem important without regret. Feel free to offer to solve the problem in chat / by mail, etc. Or call someone else if someone is more helpful than you.


You are beautiful! Now your meeting is effective and you even want to go to it!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply