Make meetings not (time) Suck

Have you ever had an entire day of meetings and felt like you achieved nothing?

Some topics are more quickly discussed in person, however there are somethings that can be sorted quickly in slack. The key here, is to know for which task which medium works better.

In a small startup like Visaya, everyone is constantly buzzing around trying to accomplish their myriad of tasks. The question is, how do we keep everyone up to date and on the same page? Having “check in” meetings can be vital to understand the most important goals and how everyone is working to achieve them. But if you are familiar with too many meetings you know “check in” meetings are in dangerous territory. If they are not managed correctly they can become “time sucks”.

Time Sucks are, of course, something that wastes everyone’s time and gets nothing done. They are timely and they suck, hence “Time Suck”.

Here at Visaya we have nailed down a meeting schedule that works for us.

1. Daily Standup Meeting

The Daily Standup meeting happens everyday at 10am for the team members who are at work at that time. Everyone (in under a minute or two at maximum) discusses what they accomplished yesterday, what they plan to do today and their blockers.

We start with what we did yesterday because it creates a sense of accountability and helps people to not let tasks fall through the cracks.

Next they discuss what their tasks are for the upcoming day. This gives people a chance to know what someone else is doing and possibly offer help, advice or collaboration.

Just the other day I mentioned I planned to figure out how to put a survey directly inside a newsletter in mailchimp instead of as a link. A programmer on my team informed this was impossible. This small communication saved me at the very least an hour of time in my work day.

Lastly we discuss blockers. Blockers are what may be in the way of what we are trying to achieve. Let’s say you wanted to discuss how to move forward with a team member who is out sick. You would say your blocker is they are not back until monday.

2. Weekly Monday Meeting

Once a week on mondays we all sit in one of the larger office spaces and go over numbers. This meeting is more operational. The daily standup meeting is fast paced and one person talking at once. This meeting opens up the floor for discussion.

3. Monthly Morning Meeting

Oh yes, the dreaded 7am monthly meeting. This is of course why we always make sure to bring a breakfast. Often pastries because it’s 7am and pastries are important.

This meeting is where we talk long term quarterly goals and KPIs. We discuss achievements and where we are in our progress.

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