Technical people usually hate meetings. Personally, I'm fascinated with "fixing" them. However, there are different types of meetings and they require different approaches.


The goal is transfer information. In general, such meetings should not be necessary, because writing is better. If you can abolish, avoid or prevent them. However, management often insists. Maybe you can change the style? A handout would be good idea, because it is writing. For a prominent example, "Amazon often begins its staff meetings with 30 minutes of silent reading". Powerpoint is banned.


The goal is make decisions as a group. This is the most important kind of meeting, because decisions change things. Bad decisions destroy projects.


The goal is come up with good ideas. This type is the easiest to ruin, which means they are most often a waste of time.

Other types

There are more types of meetings, but they are not the dreaded time wasters as the one above. Training, socializing, one-on-one, spontaneous, etc.

All those meetings can also be done in some virtual space, which certainly changes the dynamics. If only some people participate from remote, it does not change much in my experience. Remote people are second class. At least for decision meetings, doing it via Skype or Hangout does not change much, though.

© 2015-07-28