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Woodinville, WA
Defining Scope of And Effectively Running A Meeting
March 15, 2009
Part 1 - Introduction
A
s a part of our day-to-day job as managers, we do multiple tasks to move our work forward - to move our teams forward, help them be successful, and thereby move the organization forward. Regardless of whether we are people managers or individual contributors, we collaborate with others in the company. This collaboration could be cross-group or cross-functional, across various business units or across companies. The common thread in this collaboration is the shared goal - Mutual Success! Our mutual success depends on how well the shared goal is articulated and how well the groups understand it (key success factor).
It then falls upon the leaders (of the organization, or project), who are tasked with achieving success, to ensure the teams are aligned with clarity of the goal, and the steps to achieve success. We often use various kinds of meetings (such as face-to-face in a conference room, one-on-ones, and virtual teleconferencing) to establish such clarity. It goes without saying that the meetings occur between two or more participants. Therefore, as participants of a meeting, each one of us have our roles to play. Each participant must be clear as to the role (s)he is playing in the meeting.
However, as the meeting organizer, we would have a more crucial role to play, not just setting up and opening the meeting, but also ensuring the participants clearly understand the goal/purpose of the meeting, the meeting runs its course, and accomplishes the goal(s) set for the meeting, while sticking to the agenda.
My project teams have served as my teachers for many years in this area, be it my business partners, my process analysts, business analysts, developers, or tester. These are some of the finest, and taught me not just how to run effective meetings, but also how not to run a meeting. They also helped me learn how to handle difficult situations and people.
This series of articles is aimed at articulating, not just my years of learning, but also my methods of setting up, running, and concluding meetings, and driving towards results.