Productive meetings for software engineers

by | Apr 30, 2021 | Meetings, Teams, Technology

You will never get 100% of software engineers to agree on using spaces or tabs to indent their code (the correct answer is spaces, by the way), but there is one thing that they all agree on, meetings can be a huge waste of time. In fact, a recent survey found that 65% of employees believe that meetings get in the way of getting work done. 

At meetings.io, our technology team knows all too well from previous experiences the “meetings can be a huge waste of time argument”. That is why we built the product that we did, to stop wasting time and stop missing opportunities.

Most software teams work out of a tool like Jira or Github Issues. The team at meetings.io is no different, those tools do a great job of managing day-to-day operational work of building software. However, how do you make improvements in your team’s process? The common ritual is to have a retrospective meeting, but those meetings can be very inefficient, leading to little or no forward progress.

In order to have powerful, productive meetings, the right topics must be discussed, decisions about those topics must be made, and tasks must be completed to carry out those decisions. The way we do that is to maintain a list of topics that persist between retrospective meetings. During the meeting, the team chooses the most important topic to discuss and to-do’s are assigned to members to carry out the decision. At the start of the next meeting, the to-do list from the previous week is quickly reviewed to confirm what was completed and what wasn’t. If something wasn’t completed, it typically leads to a new topic being added to the list.

The result of this process is a team that is constantly improving and nothing slips through the cracks. It promotes a radical level of trust and transparency with the team that drives us forward.

If you would like help running your retrospective meetings in this manner, sign up for a free trial of meetings.io and start using the software. There will definitely be some level of work involved to change your team’s approach to meetings, but I promise that after the 2nd or 3rd time, you will never want to run your meetings any other way.

Little Bonus: “Stop the Meeting Madness” 

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