Provide Advance Notice for Meetings

Problem:

In most companies, everyone is busy, and they don’t have time to be wasted. People need (and most people prefer) to see  what is happening and when.

Yet many managers and other meeting organisers call meetings at the last minute or at very short notice. This disrupts people’s plans for their work, slows them down, and is generally just bad planning.

Solution:

If you are the project manager, set an example by scheduling meetings with as much advance notice as possible. A few days is good, but a week or more advance notice is much better.

You should only call mast minute meetings (as in on the same day) in extreme circumstances, such as a critical unplanned event, safety incident that must be announced immediately or a similar urgent reason. And if you do call a last minute meeting, let people know why and remind them that you would not normally call an unplanned meeting. You should still prepare as much as possible, even for late planned meetings.

Encourage your team members to schedule their meetings in advance as well.

Scheduling meetings well in advance helps people plan their work and increases efficiency. It also allows more of the invited people to attend, as a late scheduled meeting will often clash with the plans of many other people.

You should also make yourself aware of any policies your company has regarding the minimum notice required for meetings. That is an unusual requirement in my experience, but may be present in more unionised workplaces. You should of course follow these guidelines or policies, but even then, you should aim to schedule your meetings further in advance than the required minimum.

Lesson:

Schedule meetings with as much advance notice as possible, and encourage (or even require) your team to do the same.

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