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🍖❌ Meet-less Monday Challenge #1: A healthier alternative to meetings

Hiya Community members! 

Happy meet-less Monday 😊. 

We recently launched a badge to inspire Community members to reduce the number of meetings on their calendar in favor of collaboration in Confluence. 

Here's how to participate in Challenge #1:

  • Comment with a cal screenshot of a day this week you’ve cleared of meetings. If this is simply not an option, here’s a healthier alternative:
    • Try limiting the time to 15-30 minutes rather than an hour.
  • Utilize Recurring Weekly Meeting template to bring everyone up to speed offline so they can spend less time online. (Let us know what you think about this template or how you've used it in the comments below)!
  • Share your best tip for having fewer meetings!

Hoping you meet-less this week! 

meet-less.png

19 comments

Dave Liao Community Leader May 03, 2021

@Bridget - does one need to do all three bullets to participate in the challenge, or is one or two okay?

  • Love that I can create a new page in my Cloud instance from the "Use template" link.
  • One tip to having fewer meetings? When someone tries to schedule time with you, have them fill out a short meeting request form. The requestor should be able to describe what they're looking for in 1-2 sentences, and what they hope to get from meeting with you. Ideally you can resolve their request asynchronously!
Like # people like this

A tip for fewer meetings, although probably obvious - communicate and collaborate!

Communicate your preferred method of talking to people and then pay attention to it.  Some of us like email, some 'phone, some one of the hundred and eleventy twelve chat applications out there, some even, well, meetings. 

Make it clear which is your favoured one, and that you're happy to be bothered via it, especially if it's a question or conversation that might save you having to have a meeting!

(And if you must succumb to the temptation to have a meeting... make sure you agree the agenda and desired outcome before you accept)

Like # people like this
Andrew Kendris Community Leader May 03, 2021

What an awesome challenge and great way of getting teams back on track and working effectively!

Our team is taking its first steps towards "No Meetings" Wednesdays.  As a project manager, my belief is always "if you're in a meeting with me, you aren't able to do the work needed to keep the project moving" 🙂 Not that I don't want to see their smiling faces and I'm always available for a Zoom call or just a quick message away but I can sympathize with those who get who get frustrated when they are spending so many hours in meetings talking about what they are going to do without having the time to actually do it.

We've used this meetings template with great success and even took it a step further by building some some JQL to pull in open issues from our Jira projects.  We are able to jump right into our topics/action items and have access to the latest information in the fields we have shown in our macro.

For those who use Jira and Confluence to track work and collect knowledge, my best tip for having fewer meetings is taking the time to build out informative Confluence Overview Pages with the use of effective macros and Jira Dashboards.  Giving teammates a hub saves so much time and they'll feel confident tackling their assigned work knowing the resources they are referencing are the latest and greatest!

 

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Like # people like this

Oh, another one, although I expect it to be called a "cheat", and a bit of a roll-on from my last comment - ritual meetings are not meetings, so declassify them as such.

My work doesn't suit scrum (the time-boxing makes no sense), but we do the daily standup ritual "meeting".  But it's not a meeting to us because there's no desired outcome, no sense that it moves anything forwards and no agenda past what my friends call "people-ing".   

We don't call it a meeting, it's socialisation and catching-up with people.

We'd say the same about "Uncle Steve hour" - every 2 weeks, we get together for lunch and just socialise, usually not even mentioning work.  Again, no outcome, no work progression and no agenda.  Although last week I wasn't hungry, so I made a lasagne instead.

Like # people like this

"Try limiting the time to 15-30 minutes rather than an hour."

This!!

I can't count how many times folks book an hour meeting for what is going to be a 10 - 20 minute session max.  I have to go back to them and propose the new time with bulleted thoughts we can discuss

Like Bridget likes this

Start by asking yourself if a meeting is necessary. If it can be solved by asynchronous collaboration or any other way, than do not have a meeting.

If a meeting is necessary, plan it good in advance, and have an agenda. Send the invitation early so that everyone can already prepare themselves (asynchronous) for a effective meeting.

Set Outlook to schedule meetings for 50 minutes instead of an hour (or 25 minutes instead of 30 minutes).

Be on time, and respect the time.

Like Bridget likes this
Daniel Ebers Community Leader May 03, 2021

It depends on the kind of meeting.

On a personal experience I'd like to share two types of meetings:

  • Status Meetings
    I found that most of the times a well-maintained Confluence page replaces so many needs for a meeting. It takes some time to settle and to improve the process and some hard-liners won't read through the pages until one say: "pardon me, but everything is recorded on a page already there".
  • Ad-Hoc Discussions
    Documentation seems key - for a standard question no more meetings are required, how-tos and guides are documented and can be read through by colleagues looking for detailed help.

However, on the other hand there are needs to discuss new ideas, to keep in touch or just to say hello especially when the team is working remotely.
There is nothing against it - rather to the contrary.
But we established a "guideline" to not do it on the >same business day< but with some lead time and, usually, to keep it shortened (this depends on the kind of exchange).

For actually doing meeting some considerations make sense, Atlassian Team Playbook for example offers one that could be used to improve the meeting as such.
It is called "Inclusive Meetings" and aims towards building an open and honest environment where every partipant can have their say without the fear of not being felt welcome.

Like # people like this
Jimmy Seddon Community Leader May 04, 2021

I have the same type of recurring meeting that @Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ does.  If we were in the office it wouldn't be a scheduled meeting and we would chat as a team around the coffee machine first thing in the morning.  This is something I used to do before we were forced home.  My new/current boss booked an open 30 minute zoom call for all of us to drop in or out to chat with people before starting work for the day.

I'm also working at a company that has a really good culture around meetings.  Most meeting aren't longer than 30 minutes.  Most meeting are scheduled on Wednesday (you end up not getting much accomplished that day, but it's one day out of the week which I really enjoy).  People also very much respect the purpose of the meeting so everyone tries to start on task to get the meeting to end early (which happens regularly).

We also already make use of the Recurring Weekly Meeting Template.  I have a few meetings that take place every other week for 30 minutes and we only hold the meeting of there are items to discuss added to the meeting template in Confluence.  If there is nothing to discuss then we don't have the meeting.

My best tip about meetings - When I'm running a meeting I made sure to keep things on point.  I don't want to use any more of everyone's time than absolutely necessary to make sure everyone is aligned on the common goal we are trying to complete.  That being said if a discussion starts between two individuals that isn't relevant to the entire group, I will cut them off and asking them to talk the conversation offline after the meeting. 

Like # people like this
Liam Green Community Leader May 04, 2021

I can't say every day is like this at all - but it is nice to see it occasionally!

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Like Bridget likes this
Brant Schroeder Community Leader May 04, 2021

Capture.PNG

I try to keep my Friday's light on meetings.  I use it to wrap up work that I need to complete for the week and to prepare for next week.  I usually try to keep my meetings to half an hour as well.  I feel that if everyone is prepared 30min is usually sufficient for most meetings.

We actually use the weekly meeting notes template.  In server we used the meeting template that was delivered and is very similar to this. The reason we use it is to prepare an agenda beforehand that everyone can add to.  We ask that all items be on the meeting notes one day prior so individuals can come prepared to discuss.  We then keep notes on it during the meeting.  This provides a record of what was discussed, decisions that were made, etc.  We then have something we can reference and something that others that were not able to attend the meeting can review.

We try to only have meetings to get things done.  What I mean by that is overcome an issue, get help on a problem, make a decision, etc.  This means that if we do not have an agenda out prior the meeting usually gets canceled.  We do call working meetings for emergency situations but we have cut back on standing meetings and those that remain everyone, for the most part, comes prepared and it really helps keep team members on the same page and keeps work moving forward.  

Like # people like this

Fortunately, in Russia was holiday: 

image.png

  • I usually try to do meeting like 45 min instead 1h, or 15 min instead 30 min. 
  • And I started to decline and set maybe for meetings without agenda. 
  • Next step will be without expected goal or decision. 

That last point is on plan, because I just collecting different situation, once we do conversation and we need more time to make decision as we started to look into situation in different way than sometimes better to have a Confluence page with brainstorm idea

Bridget Community Manager May 05, 2021

@Gonchik Tsymzhitov what are you doing working on a holiday 😂 But it definitely still counts as meet-less anyway :). 

Like Gonchik Tsymzhitov likes this

Capture 2021-05-06 at 12.11.23.png

Happy Friday for me..

  • We generally have a daily standup for 15 min each member have 30-45 sec of hard stop time to provide the updates and we finish our standup in approx 10-15 min,
  • For other meetings we mention the agenda in calendar invite what things we need to discuss and based on the meeting discussions organizer update the meetings using the Confluence template and actions items to the respective member.
  • My best tip for the meetings is - define the meting agent before hand so that no other discussion/topics to be discussed in the meeting. if there are new talking points coming out the meeting setup a follow-up meeting for that. used the more collaboration tools like slack, gchat, etc for the short discussions rather than setting a meetings . cal time should not be more than 30-40 min.
Like # people like this
Like Bridget likes this
Bridget Community Manager May 06, 2021

Nice @Danyel Franco !!! A meet-less Thursday is pure gold :) 

@Bridget  Normally, on holidays and weekend I do upgrade and some performance improvements for different customers if I have some requests. 

Because still not many companies don't want to have Cloud or DataCenter solution. 

 

Regarding, optimization of meeting, what do you think if in the world users will start share short video? like audio messages.

e.g. Instagram stories.- is photo, short video way

whatsapp - provide audio messages. 

Once we can do our meetings in asynchronous way, just short video, if it needs to private, then video will be self-deleted after 1 watch.

Dominic Lagger Community Leader May 06, 2021

Completly meet-less isn't an option for me. We have the scrum daily stand-up meeting, which is every day. And the first meeting is just the reminder, to do something great --> Spent time on the community and try to help people. So not an ordinary meeting :) 

Apart from that, there is a pretty empty friday in front of me! Yay! 

image.png

Hana Kučerová Community Leader May 07, 2021

I'm free today, yay!

calendar.png

The only placeholder is for lunch :-).

My tips:

  • I use "speedy meetings" feature in Google Calendar - 30 minutes meetings end 5 minutes early, 1-hour events 10 minutes early... this is great for people, who have more meetings in a row
  • In one of my previous companies there were strict rules, how the invitation should look like - there had to be description - why it's happening, what's the goal, what you should prepare, where you can find all the necessary info, to which issue you should log your time etc. You were allowed to reject the invitation, if the invitation wasn't good enough... there were minimum meetings and as a naturally introverted person I must say - I loved it :-)

I had a clear Thurs, very productive day.

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