“Time is relative”- Einstein
Perhaps all of us get a sense of that during meetings at work. Sometimes they just don’t seem to end. Sometimes you sit in a room with people for three hours (which seem like six) to find a solution. However you come back from it as clueless as before.
There are many reasons behind it, for example:
- Having no clear agenda
- Having no time frame
- Having no structure for action
- Never ending discussions
We at Taskworld have a very open culture where everyone looks forward to hearing new ideas, which lays the foundation for building a great team.
However, as the Corporate Spiderman once said.
Sometimes a lot of ideating and discussions leads to Analysis Paralysis. Which means a lot of good ideas float around the table but nothing concrete gets done about them.
So, how do we change that?
The answer is , like in most cases – Technology. Something that’s been helping us get over obstacles since the dawn of mankind. We started using Taskworld during meetings to keep everyone focused and action oriented. And we followed 5 simple steps to do that.
1. Fix an agenda and set a time limit
Have a clear agenda for a meeting. For example instead of saying We will discuss pricing in the meeting, say that We will come up with pricing limits in the meeting. Make action the core element of your agenda.
It is also equally important to set a time limit for your meetings in order to keep the discussion more meaningful.
2. Create a meeting Project
Create a project for the meeting on Taskworld – a project management app with enterprise chat. In this case, Ben Wright, CEO of a SaaS company wants to create a new website for their latest app- Foxy. Ben creates a project for the meeting to discuss that. He also adds the people he invited for the meeting to the project. The project is marked Private so that only those members who are invited can see its contents.
3. Have an open discussion
Now is the time to share ideas and concerns. Speak your mind and more importantly listen to others. However do ensure that all discussions lead to specific actions.
4. Transform ideas into Tasks and record them.
This is where most meetings go wrong. The first step to implementing conclusions is recording them. A lot of people do that using a pen and paper (which is better than nothing), however it’s still not good enough to keep the entire team on the same page. Also it’s 2015 and surely you can do better than that.
Remember the meeting project that Ben made in the second step? It’s time to open it and record conclusions in the form of Tasks.
Ben knows that the three teams required to work on creating a website are – Content, Design and UI/UX. So he creates three Task Lists for each of the three teams. He adds an additional Task List for documents and notes related to the project.
“I think we all agree that the first step is studying industry trends, let’s study a bit more about some of the popular SaaS websites.” Great! then turn it into a Task. Who’s going to do it? The Design Team. So let’s put it in the Design Team’s list.
5. Assign work real-time and fix date of completion
Once you have recorded the tasks in the project, it’s time to dig one step deeper. Assign the task to the person who will be working on it and set a completion date for the same. You can also use tags and labels to prioritize the work.
Bonus Step: Exit the room like a boss
Once you follow these four steps, you will walk out of the meeting room with a sense of purpose and clarity. Everyone in the team will know exactly what they have to work on. Once the tasks are completed, you can plan a follow-up meeting and move to the next phase.
Want to try it out yourself? Create your own project here!