Boring Meetings Suck – A Book Report

By Maureen McVey, CBAP, Head of Learning and Development, IIBA
Boring Meetings Suck: Get More Out of Your Meetings, or Get Out of More Meetings by Jon Petz is an entertaining, easy read with good suggestions.  Each chapter is called an Agenda.  My favourite chapter is Agenda 3 “How to Be a Meeting Superhero…in 10 Minutes or Less”. Some of his suggestions are:
  • Use a different approach to meetings – “change the way you meet”.
  • Speed meetings – In 18 minutes you can get a lot done and you will be appreciated for the productivity.
  • Save time scheduling meetings and try an open house.  This is a good way to share ideas and opinions.  Book a meeting room for a full day, use sticky notes and flip charts to allow participants to share ideas. Schedule a few hours to post ideas etc., the following 2 hour time slot to read all the ideas and share, and the last hour to allow a discussion of the ideas.
  • Try a stand up meeting – sort of like a scrum in agile. Remove chairs, tables and put whiteboards around the room, state a question or idea. The participants jot their opinions, needs ideas on the whiteboard.  Have everyone walk around the room and read the ideas.  Have a 10 minute discussion.  The meeting ends in 20 minutes or less.
  • Rather than meet, use a WIKI or Twitter to share ideas.
  • “When you can’t afford to get off topic” give each participant two minutes to share an idea, update, status.  Then take 5 minutes to wrap up and agree on next steps.
Each meeting suggestion includes: ground rules, when to use the meeting type, what you will need, the pros and cons. This is a great reference book.  When planning for your next requirements session, status meeting or presentation visit the IIBA Online Library, an exclusive IIBA member benefit, to review Boring Meetings Suck.
Be brave and try one of the suggested approaches—your stakeholders will love you for it and you will gain a reputation for running great meetings.