I talked recently about how much a meeting costs. So you know, I don’t really love meetings.

At times they are needed though, and here are my two rules for scheduling a meeting.

1. A meeting must produce something.

If you must book a meeting, there should be something that comes out of it. I know that seems obvious, but if it is so obvious, why do so many meetings only serve as a chat session where no decisions are made, or nothing moves forward as a result of the group having come together?

Perhaps you want to schedule a meeting for your group to review a sketch of the new site you’re working on, or a database schema. How about a team decision to change the roadmap or launch a new project?

Whatever it is, go into a meeting knowing what result you want at the end.

Or don’t book it.

2. No large status meetings.

The purpose of a meeting is not to share status updates with one another. That can be accomplished through the use of project management systems, Google Docs, or company wikis. When you ask team members to sit through a status update meeting, you’re using up time that your employees could be spending on real work that brings in revenue.

That’s it. If a meeting meets these two criteria, then let’s book it and get it done.

photo credit: toomuchdew cc