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Speeding Up Meetings

Meetings take up a lot of time in any business, don't they?

Have you ever wondered:

a) how much time they actually take up and cost the business?

b) what would happen if they could be re-engineered?



The other week I was in an interesting discussion with a client about speeding up meetings, where we got onto the SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or Quick Changeover) topic. I challenged one of his staff members to tell me what the purpose of their meetings was.

Their answer - 'to make a decision'.

When we took that focus we were then able to strip out all of the other elements that made up the meeting and came up with the faster, cut down, version.

As I hinted at earlier, we came back to the SMED approach. We took the core element of the meeting and then moved the stuff that could be done before and after to be outside of the meeting time. To really make the meeting more effective we then designed a standard agenda so that a natural efficiency to the meeting could take hold.

I'm sharing this post with you as I feel that businesses spend too much time in non-productive meetings.

And, if you want my top tips to get your meetings to become more productive (and naturally faster) without having to go through the above exercise they would be:

  • Reduce the time allocated for the meeting.
  • Be really clear about the purpose of the meeting.
  • Ensure that everyone has prepared before the meeting.
Cutting down meeting time isn't complicated, it's just another thing that requires a bit of thought and effort to do (that we often don't get around to doing). I hope that the three bullet points above help you to improve your office productivity.




Giles Johnston
...fixing MRP systems and re-engineering business processes