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3 TIPS on Status Update meetings

Status Update Meetings WS

Last week I started writing about meetings. More specifically, I gave some tips about making process improvement meetings more productive:

Kanban, F&B, and Side Roles. [Read old articles here]

 

This week I will cover Status Update meetings.

Examples: Daily production meetings, Shift handover meetings, Weekly performance review, Monthly management meeting, …

Many clients I visit complain that those meetings take too long.

 So here are some ideas to keep them nice and short!

TIP 1: Trello

Productive Meetings Trello FB

No more spreadsheets to track progress on tasks. Although I love spreadsheets for ROI calculations, data analysis, Visual Performance Management, …  it is NOT the best tool for progress tracking.

In today’s world of cloud based, freemium, software-as-a-service web based applications, Trello kicks Excel’s behind … (at least when it comes to tracking progress, you can keep running pivot tables in Excel, those are still awesome!).

I could write an entire book about how Trello has transformed my life, and I’ll probable do this some day. For now, give the free version a try.

www.trello.com

 

TIP 2: Make decisions

Make Decisions

A complaint I hear a lot during an Operational Excellence audit: “Nothing ever gets decided during our meetings”.

This is in fact something I have witnessed a lot myself: long Status Update meetings with lengthy discussions… but no decisions taken to rectify actual problems.

My advice is to ONLY address topics during a meeting IF:

 

  1. Participants should become aware of an issue or risk and initiate a countermeasure
  2. A decision needs to be made with the team

 

If none of the above reasons apply, this may result in not having the meeting at all, and that’s perfectly ok. If you have a daily or weekly thing going on and you want to keep the rhythm, just have a one minute “hi…bye” meeting.  You will be amazed how refreshing this can be!

TIP 3: Stand up!

Standing Up

“You mean, like … figuratively?”

No, I mean this literally!

For me, standing up during meetings is a failsafe solution to keep them short. When you try this out, you will see that the duration of your status update meetings will be cut in half overnight!

You might think this feels like a punishment, but it is not. It is actually a refreshing experience. You feel different when standing up and your mindset changes. It’s more “active” and you feel like getting things done.

Also, in many cases you don’t have to move to a meeting room anymore, you can meet at the shop floor. (Probably at least one of the participants will have a laptop)

Don’t forget, sitting is the new smoking. Many people already sit most part of the day; so standing up will be a good change!

 

To sum up: if you want to make status update meetings more productive:

- Get a good tool to track your progress, like Trello

- Only meet when the added value is clear

- Stand up

 

By Stefaan Claes, Consultant at Improof Solutions

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