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I put these principles to work for the first time last week.

I didn't use flip chart paper (I couldn't find any in the 30 minutes between when I listened to the podcast and when I held the meeting), but I wrote the agenda on a white board- with times.

Nine items, plus parking lot, for a one-hour meeting. [b]Way[/b] too much stuff to discuss in 60 minutes, but I thought I would give it a try.

It was totally remarkable- Everyone kept glancing up at the agenda. People kept their remarks limited when time was running out... one guy even tabled one of his items ("We don't need to use group time for this") to keep on schedule.

In short, everything happened exactly like Mark said it would. It was almost like he had done this before! :wink:

Oh yes, we got through the agenda with 3 minutes to spare. :D

--Rich

p.s. Thanks, Mark, for another winning cast!

WillDuke's picture

Big Question - Are you the new meeting hero? Did people express pleasure?

(And kudos to you for DOING IT!)

RichRuh's picture

Everyone was impressed (and surprised) that we made it through the agenda. But a meeting hero? No, not really.

That's the best part of this particular practice (as mentioned in part 2 of the podcast)- every meeting participant becomes your ally. I may have been the one that publicly posted the agenda, but the reason that the practice worked was everybody in the room made it work. We were ALL meeting heroes.

And... outside the context of this particular practice and this particular meeting... yes, I'm gaining a "reputation". :D

--Rich

WillDuke's picture

A reputation eh? Now that is awesome news. A reputation really ought to be renamed to rampumotion. Because a reputation is a ramp to a promotion. :)

Way to go Rich!

RichRuh's picture

Thanks for the encouragement, Will!

MattJBeckwith's picture

Rich, that is great. Somehow I knew you'd be one of the first to put it in to action, you are awesome!

I was wondering how it would work in a normal 1-hour meeting. I really like the concept about adding the actual time, so as not to make participants to do time math in their heads. You have motivated me to go for it on my next meeting.

James Gutherson's picture

I used this in a team meeting last Monday - 5 of us - put the agenda on a normal page sized pad with a stand next to me - small clock below it - multi colours on the agenda - start times - items for reviewing the agenda - parking lot, etc. I all worked a treat. We ran over on one item a bit but that was because it was a new team and meeting for me and I just didn't allow enough time. The team however helped adjust by agreeing to table other items to keep us close to the time.

I got very positive comments from the rest of the team and my boss on the way this worked.

WillDuke's picture

Go Jim!

Mark's picture

Way to go gents! Glad it went well.

One point that's subtle here, regarding Will's comment about being a hero: sometimes we do the right thing whether or not others will like it. There's OFTEN a Horstman Curve to go over, and I urge managers to make changes they feel strongly about even if there is initial resistance to something.

Stuff that goes THIS easily just reminds us how BAD the other way was!

Again, well done.

Mark

Sally Craft's picture

I just had an opportunity to try out the "Handling Agendas in a Meeting" advice this week. I was leading an almost-all-day meeting for a standing cross-departmental project team and a new project sponsor. This system worked GREAT for us, too. We kept on schedule through a two-hour morning session with one break, a one-and-a-half-hour lunch away from the meeting room, and another one-and-a-half-hour afternoon session. (We had fun and talked about non-project-related topics at lunch.) We even ended about 5 minutes early in the afternoon. And, as the project sponsor, who hasn't worked closely with this team before, left the meeting, she said to me "Well run meeting." That made my day! Thanks, you guys!

(And thanks for extending the deadline for the premium content deal. I just signed up.)

WillDuke's picture

Congrats Sally! Credit goes to the brave ones who implement!

juliahhavener's picture

Congrats Sally!

On an entirely personal note - my partner is from La Porte. It was her grandmother's home and so few people know where it is it was a shock to see you're there!

Welcome to the forums!

eagerApprentice's picture

Wow - AMAZING stories guys - congrats to you all. I've yet to be in a "MT Meeting" - or even one wasn't done the MT way but ended on time at least, so it is almost inspirational to see that it does actually happen... and the others help you with it!

Great stories~

bflynn's picture

[quote="Sally Craft"]We even ended about 5 minutes early in the afternoon. And, as the project sponsor, who hasn't worked closely with this team before, left the meeting, she said to me "Well run meeting." That made my day! Thanks, you guys!

[/quote]

Nice job Sally! You can be sure this was noticed by more than just the project sponsor.

When you're in the ring and do a good job, people remember that. I suspect you will get more opportunities to work on some great projects in the future.

Brian

hmcwheeler's picture

We have recently begun to make agendas for our biweekly teleconferences with our counterpart organization on the west coast. The first one was a little long, but the ability to get back on track kept us at about 1hr 15min.

Since then we have kept up the practice and now these conferences take less than 30 minutes. Just keeping that information flow up has really been a benefit and the less times the meetings take the less people avoid them. A nice little self fullfilling prophecy.