DoS Management Tip No. 4 – Stick to the Agenda!

March 24, 2010

For a long time I’ve had a rather embarrassing problem.  Maybe it’s the heady Italian summers, maybe it’s my sunny disposition or maybe it’s simply the fact that I’m a disorganised so-and-so, but I just can’t seem to start or finish a meeting on time. See. I told you it was embarrassing.

Don’t worry, however, for the Manager Tools podcast has come to my rescue. I now know the secret of starting and finishing meetings on time. It’s very simple –

  • Start the meeting on time. Finish it on time.

Brilliant! Why hadn’t I thought of that before?

The tool to enable you to do this is a timed agenda. At first I balked at the idea – a timed agenda?-  it goes against my very nature. But I’m willing to try anything  and all I can say is that it works. Here’s an example of a recent meeting agenda –

10.00-10.05 Introduction/welcome

10.05-10.10 Cambridge update (Eric)

10.10-10.20 Report writing (Mike)

10.20-10.30 YL resources (Louise)

10.30-10.35 Q & A

10.35-10.55 Show and Tell –  Games

10.55-11.00 Summary

Publish the agenda before the meeting and stick to it. That means starting the meeting even if there is only one teacher present. Don’t give more than the allotted time to an issue (if it looks like running over, either add it to the next meeting’s agenda or agree to speak to teachers individually).

It really works. I’ve found that teachers are now rarely late as they know ’10am start‘ means 10am not 10.15. Having time limits for agenda items helps focus people and everyone appreciates finishing on time (when I actually remember to stick to my rule, of course).

Any other meeting tips?

Manager Tools –

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