Managing projects across multiple teams is really difficult. Isolated spreadsheets and email strings make it impossible for team members to follow and share updates. Traditional project management software is often too complicated, and everyone doesn’t always have access across teams because each team is using their own system. This leads to execution chaos. Multiple systems across teams, difficulty in communication and coordinating effort, slow/no information flow across teams, all resulting in late or failed projects.
Rhythm Blog | Effective Meetings
by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team
What people really love about coming to meetings is how unproductive they are. I don’t know about you but I eagerly check my calendar each morning hoping against hope that YES, I do have a day jam packed full of useless meetings! It’s like Christmas every day…
Most of our successful mid-market clients have no shortage of great ideas. The constraint lies with the time and resources to get it all done. It doesn’t matter how many brilliant growth strategies your team comes up with in your annual planning session if there’s nobody with the capacity to get anything else done. Focusing on only a few top priorities is difficult but critical for your success. Tempting as it is, piling new initiatives on top of an already overloaded team will have numerous negative consequences for the individuals, team and company as a whole.
For many companies, the idea of the monthly management meeting can feel like a burden in an already overly scheduled calendar. Why is this meeting, in the midst of so many other meetings, important?
This day or half-day meeting is your key to building the team, learning together, solving problems, working on specific issues, and reinforcing your company’s culture, initiatives and goals.
For the most effective weekly team meeting, your executive team should consist of 8-10 people. If your group is too large, consider who truly should be part of the executive team meeting. Perhaps some people should participate at the departmental team-level weekly meeting only.
Also, the executive team should be using your Quarterly Plan as the framework for the meeting. The plan should consist of 3-5 Company Priorities and 3-5 Personal Priorities each. Owners of those Priorities should have statused them Red, Yellow or Green prior to the Weekly Meeting.
The daily huddle meeting has been common practice for many companies for ages. No matter your industry (manufacturing, healthcare, technology, etc.) or size, a daily sync-up can be a powerful tool to increase alignment, communication, and productivity for your teams. According to an article in Inc magazine, huddles "keep companies focused on the same strategic goals, ensure timely answers to pressing questions, and enforce accountability because everyone knows what everyone else is up to."
In theory, implementing a daily meeting with your team sounds simple. Establish some ground rules and stick to them. Typically, the rules include no problem-solving or rabbit holes, start on time, end on time (no more than 15 minutes). Keeping this meeting short and sweet is essential to its effectiveness. Include the right people, and if your organization is larger or more complex, cascade this habit to your departmental teams. Customize a simple agenda so you are sharing only the essential information.
I recently watched a TED Talk from David Grady called "How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings." It's hilarious, and it hits on some real pain points that we all experience with poorly run meetings that suck our time and energy as well as prevent us from getting the real work done. Grady says, "Everyday, we allow our coworkers, who are otherwise very, very nice people, to steal from us...I'm talking about time."
Do you go back to your desk and think, "Man, I wish I had those two hours of my life back?" Do your weekly staff meetings feel like pulling teeth? If you or your team members can relate to the video linked above, then it is time to shake up your weekly staff meetings.
Weekly Team Meetings…we’ve all got them. Conventional business wisdom has proclaimed since the beginning of time that the weekly staff meeting is a necessary evil. Lately, ditching the time you spend in meetings is a popular productivity hack, but without the regular time to collaborate with your team, you miss valuable problem-solving time and run the risk of everyone working in a silo—potentially on the wrong things.
The struggle is real. We’ve all been in meetings about our metrics that produce seemingly endless discussion about the numbers, with no real actions, outcomes or impact on results. CEOs list this as one of their top frustrations – all-talk-and-no-action meetings regarding their Key Performance Indicators.
So, how do you avoid the marathon hamster wheel and have an effective KPI discussion in your weekly team meeting? Teams who are really good at this have two things in common: a properly set up KPI dashboard and a great facilitator. Here are some patterns regarding both:
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson
I've never met a CEO who expected his or her team and their plan to fail. People are optimists, for the most part, and most CEOs have faith in their teams to succeed. After all, the CEO hired the team, came up with the plan and work with the team every day to achieve the plan. Yet inevitably, many plans do fail. Why is that and what is it costing you?
Revenue is a great example as it's the lifeblood of any organization. It funds your growth, pays your people, enables you to deliver great products and serve your clients. What happens when revenue goals are missed? Can you not fund R&D to develop that great new product? Does the new piece of equipment that you need to purchase go on hold? Do you have to lay people off or stop providing stellar service to your clients? Are your investors ready to pull out? Scary things can happen when plans are not delivered successfully and revenue goals are missed.