Great Meetings with IT Customers in an Agile World
Meetings are an essential part of day-to-day work and collaboration in every organization. There are an estimated 37 million meetings every day in the United States, yet up to 67 percent are considered failures. Sources estimate the cost of unproductive meetings in the billions and say meetings may take up 15% of an organization’s collective time.
Strategic meeting facilitators play an essential role by implementing best practices to make meetings productive and efficient – and a great experience for participants. In particular, meetings with information technology (IT) stakeholders are critically important to the long-term success of complex technology projects. Business owners, system users, and developers all often speak a different language, and collaboration is difficult.
Great meetings with IT customers are within our reach and can create the collaboration to promote innovation and reduce risk. Successful IT meeting facilitators should:
- Prepare for the meeting and clearly identify the objectives and participants. For example, a daily standup in an Agile environment should only include the ScrumMaster, the Product Owner, and the development team
- Send out any pre-read materials ahead of time, making sure participants know what their role in the meeting needs to be. During sprint review sessions, product owners should be prepared to speak on all backlog items for that sprint
- Organize the agenda for the meeting to facilitate the goal (e.g., identify solutions, support decision making, etc.). For example, during sprint planning sessions, all product owners should be prepared to discuss what they realistically expect to accomplish during the upcoming sprint
- Keep discussions on topic and on schedule to promote good time management and direct discussions to achieve specific outcomes. For example, daily standup meetings should last no longer than 15 minutes
Early stage mission needs or requirements meetings are particularly critical before the development team hits the ground to develop a system. Well-facilitated meetings with excellent documentation that includes consensus decisions are critical to success.
IT meetings that are results-oriented achieve the best results because managing the IT development process effectively with methods and questions invites full participation from both the project stakeholder and the customer. Through excellent meeting planning and facilitation, IT customers can obtain better outcomes, save time and money, and achieve their mission.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.