Meetings

Meetings can be called either on-demand or regularly. To avoid any miscommunication and facilitate syncing between meeting participants, it is recommended to follow the following guidelines.

Calling for meetings

  1. Define a goal
    Every meeting needs to have a goal. The goal should be clear in order to give direction to the discussion.
  2. Define the agenda
    All meetings must have an agenda. The agenda helps participants focus and keep the meeting within its time constraints. The agenda should at least contain:
    1. The topic and subtopics to be discussed

    2. Possible preparation required by participants to be able to attend

  3. Define participants
    The participants should be separated between:
    1. Mandatory participants

    2. Optional participants

  4. Define time
    The meeting should take place within a specific time-frame. The time-frame should be such that all mandatory participants can attend. Try not to exceed 1h to avoid fatigue. Use free/busy information, if available, to minimizes chances of rescheduling. The meeting should be scheduled far enough into the future to let participants respond in time for their availability. Always add some extra time; meetings usually run overtime.
  5. Define location
    The location, either physical or virtual, should be defined.
  6. Set reminders
    Participants should be reminded in some way when a meeting is starting soon.
  7. Make resources available
    Any resources needed to execute the meeting (documents, pages, links, etc.) should be available to the participants either directly or as links.

Calendar invitations

The most common way to call for meetings is through calendar event invitations. The recommended mapping between meeting properties and calendar invitations is:

Invitation

Meeting

Start time

Start time

End time

End time

Title

Agenda topic

Description

Agenda

Location

Location

Required attendees

Mandatory participants

Optional attendees

Optional participants

Reminders

Reminders (e.g. 15 mins before start)

Responding to invitations

Participants are expected to respond to invitation as soon as possible. Always check your calendar to avoid double booking and always account for possible time needed to prepare before responding to an invitation. It is acceptable for participants to completely deny attending or ask to reschedule a meeting. In any case, always reply with the reason.

Initiating meetings

To start a meeting, the following guidelines should be followed:

  1. Small talk for 5 minutes, if possible
    This helps people to start talking and also allows time for everybody to gather.
  2. Assign roles
    The following roles shall be assigned to people at the start of the meeting:
    1. Leader - The person who leads the discussion; usually the person who called the meeting

    2. Notekeeper - The person who keeps minutes of the meeting

    3. Kanban master - If the meeting involves a Kanban board review, the person who goes over the Kanban cards (e.g. GitLab issues)

    4. Timekeeper - The person who makes sure that the meeting runs on schedule

    5. Participant - Anyone who is invited and attends the meeting

Participating

To make meetings more efficient, the following guidelines should be followed after meeting starts:

  1. Always try to stick to the agenda and the meeting goal, as defined by the organizer

  2. Come up with clear action items which can be later documented as tasks for people undertake

  3. Avoid overrunning the scheduled meeting time; people may have scheduled other tasks after the meeting

Post-meeting actions

After the end of the meeting, the meeting notes should be published by the Notekeeper and all action items should be filed as tasks to the task track system (e.g. GitLab issues) by all participants assigned to them.

Experimental period using this process

The aforementioned process shall be followed for a period of: 2 weeks. At the end of each meeting, feedback on the experience shall be collected and recorded from participants.