— 3 min read

Photo by Andrew Magill

In businesses around the world few aspects of the work day are universally hated more by employees than an internal status meeting. The status meeting is a nuisance. It becomes a chore. Some reasons why:

  • The meeting often lacks a clear cut format / agenda
  • Many of the people within the room have limited speaking roles
  • Since the boss is usually involved, multitasking (or zoning out)  is not possible
  • Scheduling is usually poor as to not interfere with customer hours
  • Keeping track of history + actionable items is inconsistent or non-existent

Often, the status meeting can seem like a wasted exercise that just had to take place because it was booked on the calendar. One of the most publicized waves of meeting reform (that's what I'm going to call it from now on) occurred at Google when Larry Page came back to his leadership post. He laid out some company wide rules in an effort to change the culture:

  • Every meeting must have one clear decision maker. If there's no decision maker — or no decision to be made — the meeting shouldn't happen.
  • No more than 10 people should attend.
  • Every person should give input, otherwise they shouldn't be there.
  • No decision should ever wait for a meeting. If a meeting absolutely has to happen before a decision should be made, then the meeting should be scheduled immediately.

By setting these rules, Larry Page was ensuring meetings would only occur when required and that they would not be a waste the time of any of the attendees. And more importantly, each meeting should have an actionable item. One of our favorite columnists, Ilya Pozin, goes even further and suggest that meetings should be 30 mins or less. The shorter the meeting, the more engaged the participants will be, and the likelihood of them being productive afterwards increases as well. To make sure every minute of the meeting is spent wisely try the Team Meeting Checklist. It's a great and fun tool that helps you in the prepare and squeeze the maximum out of your meeting.

At Weekdone, we take out the need to hold a weekly status meeting / update with your entire team. Employees are easily able to update goals, accomplishments, and problems that they're facing. We provide managers all the information they need, whether it is detailed reports from individuals or a dashboard view of what their overall teams are doing. From there, they can provide feedback via the site or decide if in fact a meeting is required (and with whom). Even if a weekly roundup meeting happens, thanks to Weekdone reports being available before it all takes much less time.

In other words, we allow companies kill off useless status meetings and spend more time on things that matter, like winning customers and improving their product.