Meetings – a Silent Sigh

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by: Sigurd Rinde

Meeting of minds are core to our existence, and almost always a pleasure (except for that chance brush with a surly parking meter overlord of course).

But there is another kind of meeting, mostly an intracompany phenomena: The project workflow node par excellence, the book-ends of any process snippet in our daily Barely Repeatable work day.

Check out the way your own office is organising a project, do a workflow diagram including milestones on a piece of paper. What are the milestones called? I bet you that they’re meetings, or sign-offs. The very framework used to organise any BRP flow are centred around meetings – gather all hands on deck, discuss results so far, distribute tasks and set next node, eh, meeting. Rinse and repeat. Check, control and allocate.

If my cycling club were to organise the Sunday group rides accordingly we would regroup every four kilometres, wait until all are assembled, give individual progress report, dole out the route for the next four kilometres and mount our bikes again.

Luckily it’s not like that; we all know where to go, having no problems in finding our most efficient pace for the long slog, constantly cheered forward by our cycling buddies interspersed by the occasional bout of friendly competitiveness when approaching a crest in the road. A damned more efficient and a whole lot more enjoyable process I would add.

So why don’t business do the same? Old habits and no other useful work flow framework I’m afraid. (But of course there is, you just have not implemented it yet 😉

Typical project meeting.

(I challenge you to source a suitable "meeting" image from your favourite stock photo supplier – a few absent looking faces, somebody nodding off or hiding an urge to yawn. Yeah, as if, nothing but smiling faces and handshaking by fresh looking well dressed models. Somebody is trying to gloss over reality, fishy, very fishy.)