Are you tired of meetings that don't start on time?
If you were to calculate the actual time lost, meetings that don’t start on time is perhaps one of the single biggest generators of waste in organizations today. A meeting that starts 5 minutes late for 4 people waiting for 1 other person wastes 20 minutes. If it’s a daily meeting, that’s an hour a week, and in turn 50 hours a year. If that’s happening with meetings all over the organization, the waste really adds up.
This is a solvable problem. It takes more than one person to solve it for an organization, but you can at least start it for your team and start to build some momentum.
- Schedule meetings that can manage transition time from meeting to meeting. We always want to thing our meeting is the most important one. But somewhere in the halls of Microsoft as Outlook was being developed, the default for meetings became 60 minutes. Schedule your meetings for 50 minutes. It only takes a second to change it when setting up a meeting in Outlook. Build your agenda for those 50 minutes. Or better yet, manage your meeting to 42 minutes, or 18.
- Start on time. Yes, it’s that simple. I don’t care if your boss isn’t there. Start on time.
- Forget the games like the dollar in the bucket if you’re late. Have someone text message, call, or push-to-talk those who said they would be there but aren’t. Call them out on it. They made a commitment, and you are just calling them to see if they are intending to keep their commitment. But have someone else call, but you’re starting the meeting.
- Never double-book yourself. This is the example that you must set. It ensures that you won’t make the meeting, and sends the message “all plans are tentative until I make up my mind.” If there are standing meetings that you are automatically accepted into, at least decide that morning and make the decision of what you are going to attend and what you aren’t.
Mind you, this still won’t be enough. But it’s a start. Lean can begin with you.