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  1. #1
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Tips For Starting Meetings On Time?

    I was reading this article http://www.stickyminds.com/s.asp?F=S12512_COL_2 about starting meetings on time.

    It reminded me of how often I see habitually late meetings, and how much I dislike that.

    I've worked for companies in the past that tried different means to combat this problem - most unsuccessfully.

    I've been at companies that tried to use fines ($1 or $5). That didn't work well. Some people even pre-paid their fines!

    At one company, they tried to lock the doors and just start. That didn't work because one of the worst offenders was a guy who was essential to the meetings.

    The best I have seen was at one company where starting (and ending) on time was simply part of the company culture. There were no specific penalties for being late. But, folks new to the company quickly learned that being late was "not the way we do things here". That attitude seemed to go all the way to the top of the company. I'm not sure how it started - it was clearly in place when I arrived.

    Where I work now, tardiness is pretty common, unfortunately. Some folks are worse than others, but few meetings seem to start on time. To make things worse, we only have a very small number of conference rooms. So, when a meeting starts late, it often ends late. And the next meeting gets delayed. It feeds on itself.

    Anyone have good success in getting meetings started and stopped on time? Any good tips to share that you have found effective? Have you found a way to turn things around?
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  2. #2
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    Re: Tips For Starting Meetings On Time?

    I simply start the meeting on time and if stagglers come in late they are not caught up. If someone is crucial to the meeting and is more than 5 minutes late I cancel the meeting and reschedule letting everyone know that I'm sorry that such and such wasn't there but they were crucial.

    BTW - it sounds harsh but very few of my meetings have late attendees and even have had people call me ahead of time to let me know that they are running late and can we reschedule or do we have enough time to start late (I pad my meeting times for this occurrence). Then I let other attendees know the new start time :-)

    It works for me, but your mileage may vary.

  3. #3
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    Re: Tips For Starting Meetings On Time?

    From my xperience it's been a cultural thing....either on time or always late. I like the koosh idea. Maybe requiring everyone to be logged into IM and they if they aren't there you IM them to death. Or even better, use some remote desktop app to take control of their desktop!

    Someday we'll all just sit in front of webcams at home.

    Maybe that's a good way to get people to change. Try to have virtual meetings every other time or something...and see if that gets people on time. Something radical will usually need to be done to get things like this to change. Hmmmm...
    Cheers,
    B^2

    "Imagination is more valuable than knowledge." (AE)

  4. #4
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    Re: Tips For Starting Meetings On Time?

    Cyndi, that's a good idea about rescheduling if someone crucial is going to be late. I will try that. We struggle with this problem as well, and in fact I just had a conversation this morning with my product owner about the tardiness of some of our developers to a meeting yesterday. We were discussing what stories we would need to drop for our current sprint, and to make matters worse than the fact that they were late, the developers acted like it was no big deal (we started the meeting without them).

    We too have tried different things, fines (and yes, we had people prepay as well), starting without them, etc., but for the habitual tardy person...these haven't worked. I, like Joe, am interested to hear how others have dealt with this problem.

    Betsy

  5. #5
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    Re: Tips For Starting Meetings On Time?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Cyndi, that's a good idea about rescheduling if someone crucial is going to be late. I will try that.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    What helped was the chonric laters were getting bickered at by other attendees because the meeting had to be rescheduled and their time had been wasted [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6
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    Re: Tips For Starting Meetings On Time?

    Rather than "punish" late-comers, "reward" those who arrive on time.

  7. #7
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    Re: Tips For Starting Meetings On Time?

    Electrodes attached to the keyboards. Works every time

    (We also want to install this on the user's PCs to stop them running dangerous SQL queries and stuffing up the data)
    "Not every solution was derived to address an obvious problem" - Me (quite recently indeed)

  8. #8
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    Re: Tips For Starting Meetings On Time?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Rather than "punish" late-comers, "reward" those who arrive on time.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I found that didn't work when it was the critial players that were consistently late. I do still occassionally bring chocolate to meeting to bribe folks :-) I guess that is a reward.

    Positive reinforcement works a good chunk of the time, I just learned in my environment after multiple years that punishment worked better for my group :-)

  9. #9
    Moderator JakeBrake's Avatar
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    Re: Tips For Starting Meetings On Time?

    Punish or reward??? I'm not certain which applies here...

    Seriously, I offer the late-comers a free B Spears CD. Their ontime record improves dramatically.

  10. #10
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    Re: Tips For Starting Meetings On Time?

    Actually the rescheduling was the only one I have not seen tried, the fines, bribes and the "not being caught up" were all tried and failed in various places. I think I'll try that one too, the problem I have seen is in meetings with conference calls, if people come in late sometimes you don't know. But we always try to make sure the crucial people are there...its keeping everyone on track that is the real task.

    - M
    - M

    Nothing learns better than experience.

    "So as I struggle with this issue I am confronted with the reality that noting is perfect."
    - Unknown

    Now wasting blog space at QAForums Blogs - The Lookout

 

 
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