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Conducting a Successful IT Staff Meeting in 5 Steps

Published on 04 November 16
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There are many ways to conduct meetings for IT professionals, and you should be prepared for a keen audience with limited time. Therefore, taking into account structure is one of the most important preparation tactics you can adopt. Going off past precedent and the tried and true expertise of meeting gurus, here are a few tips about how to best move forward with your next one.

1. Have an Agenda

Even if an agenda is not something that you personally need, it’s absolutely imperative to keep everyone on track. Due to the fact that the nature of the IT industry is much more stop and go than a business executive, given how much trouble shooting is involved, holding the attention of your team requires a focused approach. An agenda will help others to be able to see what you would like to accomplish. It will also allow others to be able to prepare comments as well as study up on the information that you plan to discuss if you distribute the agenda before the meeting. This also sets a tone for a meeting, whether you’re conducting it online via camera or all in one conference room, that you’re at the table to do business as efficiently as possible and move the process along. This is a mentality that all your colleagues will appreciate, and agenda helps keep everything on track.

2. Keep It Short

The biggest problem with any meeting is that they simply last too long. This is particularly problematic for IT professionals who are constantly assaulted with a barrage of calls, texts, emails, and other distractions as tasks pile up that will require immediate attention once the meeting is over. Obviously meetings are necessary, but only if you do it the right way. Pick only the essential items to discuss, and keep it brief. When you consider the working hours that are tied up per person, then multiply that out by the number of people in a meeting, and then multiple that by the number of meetings in a given year, you can see why all of that cost is being wasted on sitting around. The good news is with video all hands meeting apps like BlueJeans, you can have as many people jump into a live meeting as needed, and then because it is a live meeting they can get out as soon as they need to. They don’t need to travel and they don’t need to arrive early just in case of traffic or delays, so while you are still taking time to meet you are also minimizing the amount of time being wasted as well.

3. Have Actionable Deadlines and Follow-Ups

One of the worst things that can occur when you have a meeting according to the Harvard Business Review is that people accomplish nothing. For example, if you’re discussing the integration of some kind of new company-wide software that will require extensive staff training and other complex implementation processes, the conversation shouldn’t conclude in conjecture or opinions. Rather, there should be a quantifiable course of action, with deadlines and dates in place if possible. A common pitfall spending too much time recapping what happened at the last meeting, where things are now, and other wasted words. Instead of dealing with this never-ending cycle, it makes sense to end each and every bullet point or topic of conversation in the meeting itself with a follow up and action item so that you know someone is responsible to do something by a certain time in order to push everything forward.

4. Know Your Natural Barriers

Every IT professional has their strengths, whether it’s working more on the managerial end, trouble shooting basic user issues, or dealing with complex code and software implementation. However, if there’s one thing every employee looks forward to, it’s lunchtime and going home at the end of the day. This is called a natural barrier, and you can use it to your advantage. By running your meeting just before a natural barrier, you can compel your meeting attendees to work faster and smarter, shifting mentality from boredom to a countdown to some kind of mental reward.

5. Don’t Get Comfortable

Not every employee works as hard as his or her cubicle neighbor, but that doesn’t mean you have to adopt a dictator approach to running meetings. Instead, remember to stay in the middle. Being in charge of an IT team usually means that you’ll not only need to deal with lots of personality types, but also know the difference between being too buddy-buddy with your staff. If your conference room has beverages, snacks, or cushy chairs then this could be the time that no one is in a hurry to accelerate, so watch for stragglers carefully. Just because you’re friendly with someone at the office, doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for them to eat all the free snacks and ignore a discussion.

One advantage to dealing with IT professionals is the ability to have meetings via video conferencing or other remote methods of connection, since no one will be intimidated by the technology. If you keep your staff on track and utilize the latest communication technology, you’ll see your projects getting done faster and better.
Conducting a Successful IT Staff Meeting in 5 Steps - Image 1
There are many ways to conduct meetings for IT professionals, and you should be prepared for a keen audience with limited time. Therefore, taking into account structure is one of the most important preparation tactics you can adopt. Going off past precedent and the tried and true expertise of meeting gurus, here are a few tips about how to best move forward with your next one.

1. Have an Agenda

Even if an agenda is not something that you personally need, it’s absolutely imperative to keep everyone on track. Due to the fact that the nature of the IT industry is much more stop and go than a business executive, given how much trouble shooting is involved, holding the attention of your team requires a focused approach. An agenda will help others to be able to see what you would like to accomplish. It will also allow others to be able to prepare comments as well as study up on the information that you plan to discuss if you distribute the agenda before the meeting. This also sets a tone for a meeting, whether you’re conducting it online via camera or all in one conference room, that you’re at the table to do business as efficiently as possible and move the process along. This is a mentality that all your colleagues will appreciate, and agenda helps keep everything on track.

2. Keep It Short

The biggest problem with any meeting is that they simply last too long. This is particularly problematic for IT professionals who are constantly assaulted with a barrage of calls, texts, emails, and other distractions as tasks pile up that will require immediate attention once the meeting is over. Obviously meetings are necessary, but only if you do it the right way. Pick only the essential items to discuss, and keep it brief. When you consider the working hours that are tied up per person, then multiply that out by the number of people in a meeting, and then multiple that by the number of meetings in a given year, you can see why all of that cost is being wasted on sitting around. The good news is with video all hands meeting apps like BlueJeans, you can have as many people jump into a live meeting as needed, and then because it is a live meeting they can get out as soon as they need to. They don’t need to travel and they don’t need to arrive early just in case of traffic or delays, so while you are still taking time to meet you are also minimizing the amount of time being wasted as well.

3. Have Actionable Deadlines and Follow-Ups

One of the worst things that can occur when you have a meeting according to the Harvard Business Review is that people accomplish nothing. For example, if you’re discussing the integration of some kind of new company-wide software that will require extensive staff training and other complex implementation processes, the conversation shouldn’t conclude in conjecture or opinions. Rather, there should be a quantifiable course of action, with deadlines and dates in place if possible. A common pitfall spending too much time recapping what happened at the last meeting, where things are now, and other wasted words. Instead of dealing with this never-ending cycle, it makes sense to end each and every bullet point or topic of conversation in the meeting itself with a follow up and action item so that you know someone is responsible to do something by a certain time in order to push everything forward.

4. Know Your Natural Barriers

Every IT professional has their strengths, whether it’s working more on the managerial end, trouble shooting basic user issues, or dealing with complex code and software implementation. However, if there’s one thing every employee looks forward to, it’s lunchtime and going home at the end of the day. This is called a natural barrier, and you can use it to your advantage. By running your meeting just before a natural barrier, you can compel your meeting attendees to work faster and smarter, shifting mentality from boredom to a countdown to some kind of mental reward.

5. Don’t Get Comfortable

Not every employee works as hard as his or her cubicle neighbor, but that doesn’t mean you have to adopt a dictator approach to running meetings. Instead, remember to stay in the middle. Being in charge of an IT team usually means that you’ll not only need to deal with lots of personality types, but also know the difference between being too buddy-buddy with your staff. If your conference room has beverages, snacks, or cushy chairs then this could be the time that no one is in a hurry to accelerate, so watch for stragglers carefully. Just because you’re friendly with someone at the office, doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for them to eat all the free snacks and ignore a discussion.

One advantage to dealing with IT professionals is the ability to have meetings via video conferencing or other remote methods of connection, since no one will be intimidated by the technology. If you keep your staff on track and utilize the latest communication technology, you’ll see your projects getting done faster and better.

Conducting a Successful IT Staff Meeting in 5 Steps - Image 1

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and Telecommunications Community

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