Sometimes, in order to run effective meetings with a department that works separately from yours, you have to understand their workflow and their way of thinking. Furthermore and most importantly, you have to be familiar with their goals.
Running effective meetings can be difficult, therefore, let’s break down some points which will definitely help you in the process. Running effective meetings Running effective meetings can be difficult, therefore, let’s break down some points which will definitely help you in the process.
Understanding Technology And Its Modern Project Management Routes for Efficient Meetings
How to run a meeting with a tech department? Very simple, keep in mind the fact that they are 100% following a specific project management method. Agile and Waterfall are two of the most common ones: whilst Agile heavily relies on constantly testing and releasing updated versions, Waterfall focuses on building a perfect tool, application or website before it gets released to the public. Both of these have specific checkpoints within every single project index and it may be possible for you, this way, to check if they’re being correctly executed. This is the first step when it comes to running a successful meeting. Of course, especially in modern development, Agile is by far the best project management route, in terms of efficiency, time management, and results. Being able to control and test every version of the software whilst users are touching it with their hands is a massive selling point that should always be mentioned. Running effective meetings also means that you should know what other business departments are doing.!
How To Hold Effective Meetings: Identify Core Personalities, Project-Wise.
When running a meeting with a tech department, you must keep in mind how core personalities are pivotal when it comes to checking the above-mentioned checkpoints. It’s very common, in fact, to witness panic from board directors when they approach a tech meeting: they often don’t prepare questions to core personalities within the project they’re auditing. There’s no right or wrong when answering the question “how to run a meeting?” with these personalities, but starting off by knowing that person x and person y were responsible for those very specific tasks you’re running the meeting for, is a good starting point.
Normally, within software, web and app development, the core personalities are project managers, tech leads and solution architects.
Don’t Exaggerate With Spreadsheets If You Want To Run Efficient Meetings
If you’re thinking about how to run a meeting with a big development team, the first approach you would consider could definitely be the usage of heavy data. Exaggerating with spreadsheets, numerical values and, overall, everything that’s not visually appetible could lead to lacking in attention and, therefore, delivery. With this in mind, it’s mandatory to limit graphs to the minimum, as well as spreadsheets.
It’s good practice, instead, to start off by mentioning the positives which the dev team was able to accomplish within the time given, to then list what needs to be done in a small presentation. Tech leads and solution architects will have their individual meeting in regards to the technicalities of the case, therefore, there’s no reason why you should dig this data through with them.
On top of this, spreadsheets are always very unpleasant to see and they shouldn’t ever be used as the core of any meeting. Remember, data is fine, but so are images and slides: please them with graphics, don’t scare them with numbers!
Efficient Meeting 101 in Tech: Tech Professionals Listen And Deliver Upon Guidelines
If there’s a big “no-no” on how to run a meeting with a tech department, that’d be walking there with the classic question “so, walk me through what you’re doing”. The first step in running a great meeting is showing up by knowing what you’re actually covering, with interest in what the development team is going to cover. With this in mind, giving your developers a meeting agenda in order to optimize time would be a great choice: not only to save time to you and your devs but also to make sure every single thing you’re looking to discuss will be covered.
Normally, a tech meeting covers 5/6 points at max, but, especially when planning the build of a new piece of software/application a meeting could go over 10/12 points. Start from this and then organize time depending on how much time each individual task requires, to optimize time (both yours and your tech team’s). Meeting points should precisely cover actionable strategies or development checkpoints, ending with the classic “Is Everything Clear?”. Remember: your clients/colleagues are the ones who are supposed to leave the meeting with a clear picture of what will happen next, not you!
Notes: Precise And On-Point, are The Key For Effective Meetings
If you want to run a meeting, taking notes is mandatory to check on its progression. It may sound a bit “cold” but it’s a common story that things can be forgotten after the client is gone. In a project management scenario, with deadlines and pre-decided timeframes, it’s very important to list down and note every single thing who’s attending the meeting will say. In order to check its progression once the meeting is over. Notes shouldn’t be too long and should be, at the end of that very meeting, rephrased and shared with the people who were with you at the meeting, as a reminder.
Pitching Meetings With Tech Teams: Some Effective Meetings Strategies.
If you work within the digital sector, specifically UX and UI, you will be required to pitch clients and, most of the time, such meetings will be run by both the marketing team and the dev one. How to run a meeting in this scenario then?
Well, the first step would be running an internal meeting with the dev team to understand and check if their presentation is simple enough for the client to understand. Development teams have to use high-level tech terms, potentially creating confusion and, therefore, resulting in potential failure. It’s very important when pitching a client for a tech-related job, to keep the terms simple and as clear as possible.
All in all, listing the project management route which will be used is also mandatory, as it will give the client full disclosure of the fact that you’re completely aware of what will happen within the actual development.
How To Run A Meeting When The Tech Department Isn’t Doing Well
No one performs perfectly, that’s a fact. There may be scenarios for which they haven’t met their deadlines or the product has been faulty or just not at the level you discussed. In that case, once again, it’s mandatory to keep in mind each individual department’s KPI, with budgets and dedicated resources. It is also necessary to present them with a clear picture and to show them where and when things started to go wrong. A team of app developers in the UK has stated how helpful the usage of Agile development plans has been for their success, proving once again that companies who follow these project management routes have a much higher success rate and productivity. Many companies in the UK still rely on Waterfall development for User-heavy development strategies like mobile app development, the reason why the ones who follow Agile have a much higher success rate.
Budget Meetings With Tech Departments: Show Your Meeting Management Skills
The hardest meeting possible is definitely the one that covers budgeting with technology departments. Having an internal tech accountant who takes and breaks down every major or minor expense within a tech department could be very helpful, but that’s something which companies like TESLA and Amazon have. How to run a meeting when covering such topics then? Well, first and foremost, once again, having a “training” meeting which will tell key personalities that will be covered could be very helpful. After that, it’s important to keep things short and simple, whilst still being detailed and precise, because you really don’t want to make a mistake with your budgeting. Budget meetings require extreme precision, especially when it comes to picturing how much money each individual team will receive for a big project: a successful initial meeting could save you time and, in this case, in particular, a lot of money.
There’s no right way, once again, to answer the “how to run a meeting” question properly, but there are many tricks which can be useful to turn your meetings from a nightmare into a fairytale. It’s very important to keep in mind that running a meeting isn’t easy and it’s a crucial part of strategies, development and builds, overall. Hopefully, this small guide will help you in running a precise and useful meeting with your tech departments: remember to respect your hierarchy, don’t exaggerate with a spreadsheet, keep your meetings simple and detailed and listen to your clients.
Jamie Costello is a freelance marketing writer based in the United Kingdom, Manchester. Writing regularly on topics to do with digital marketing in particular, he uses his knowledge from past education and employment to help conduct his articles.