Surprising Ways You Can Get the Most out of Your Meetings

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<p>Slide 1</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Daniel MittlemanAssociate Professordanny@cdm.depaul.eduCollege of Computing &amp; Digital MediaDePaul University2</p> <p> ways you can getthe ost out of Meetings</p> <p>*</p> <p>*Surprising Ways you can get the Most out of your Meetings</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Some Context</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Meetings are bad</p> <p>63% meetings dont have a pre-planned agenda91% of participants daydream73% do other work during meetings39% actually sleep in meetings</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Source: https://www.atlassian.com/time-wasting-at-work-infographic 4</p> <p>Managers average 62 meetings a monthAnd consider half of them wasted time45% of managers feel overwhelmed by number of meetings$37 billion salary is wasted in business meetings per yearMeetings waste time</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Source: https://www.atlassian.com/time-wasting-at-work-infographic </p> <p>That is about 15 hours a week. And they spend another nine hours preparing for those meetings!The average American office worker spends more than nine hours of every week preparing for, or attending, project update meetings, according to the results of a survey released last week by the software firm Clarizen and Harris Poll. That's up nearly 14 percent from the last survey four years ago.</p> <p>http://www.npr.org/2015/01/29/382162271/and-so-we-meet-again-why-the-workday-is-so-filled-with-meetings</p> <p>5</p> <p>92% people multi-task during virtual meetingsHard to keep and regain focusTechnology impedes trust-building and decision-making</p> <p>SMITHERS, I SEE YOUR CROSSWORDVirtual meetings are even worse!</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Meetings are even more of a soul-sucking waste of time than you thoughtHere are some techniques to help</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>From the Guardian</p> <p>https://www.theguardian.com/news/oliver-burkeman-s-blog/2014/may/01/meetings-soul-sucking-waste-time-you-thought7</p> <p>I have a story to tell you</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>The Navys Courses of Action (COA) Decision-making approach: Analysis of the mission. Analysis of factors affecting possible (COAs). Generate candidate COAs.Analyze COAs. Prioritize COAs. Support the recommended decision.</p> <p>Six Minutes</p> <p>Seven Minutes</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>First published in: Briggs, R. O., Mittleman, D., Weinstein, N., Nunamaker, J. F., Jr., &amp; Adkins, M. (1998). Collaboration technology for the sea-based warfighter: A field study of GSS adoption and diffusion. In R. H. Sprague, Jr. (Ed.) Proceedings of the ThirtyFirst Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences, Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society Press.9</p> <p>Brainstorming doesnt work.Ideations Dirty Little Secrethttps://hbr.org/2015/03/why-group-brainstorming-is-a-waste-of-timeSocial Anxiety Evaluation Apprehension</p> <p>Production Blocking[The theory part]</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Computerize it!One way to fix brainstormingSocial Anxiety Evaluation Apprehension</p> <p>Production Blocking[The theory part]Everyone contributes at onceAnonymity, when appropriate</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Pros of Electronic BrainstormingCons of Electronic Brainstorming</p> <p>Many more ideas generated fasterMore equal participationLots of the ideas arent very goodTime consuming to evaluate all these ideas</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Directed BrainstormingAlready knew: Analysis of the mission. Already knew: Analysis of factors affecting possible (COAs). Generate candidate COAs.Analyze COAs. Prioritize COAs. Support the recommended decision.</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Directed BrainstormingQuestion?Question?Question?Question?</p> <p>Everyone writes an idea and waitsOn command, all swapAll are offered a new comparative instructionThen all create, building on prior idea and waitOn command, all swap</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>14</p> <p>Things to know aboutDirected BrainstormingWorks very well with limited time frameYou have to know up front how you will evaluate good ideasGenerates about double total ideas brainstorming, but triple high quality ideas</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>15</p> <p>Things to know aboutDirected BrainstormingMany possible technique variationsEach variation contributes to different predictable outcomes on dimensions of Idea countIdea variety (creativity)Idea quality (ratio of useful to non-useful ideas)Technique is repeatable when leader follows a fairly simple pattern (recipe)</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>16</p> <p>Directed BrainstormingPattern InstructionsOverviewThe team brainstorms solutions for a problem in response to a sequence of comparative prompts offered by a moderator. Choose this Pattern To brainstorm solutions for a problem, and When you know in advance what the criteria will be for judging whether a solution is good or not. When time is of the essence.Do not choose this Pattern When you want to push people outside the box in their quest for solutions. Use FreeBrainstorm instead</p> <p>See slide notes for more</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>DirectedBrainstorm </p> <p>Choose this Pattern To brainstorm solutions for a problem, and When you know in advance what the criteria will be for judging whether a solution is good or not. When time is of the essence. Do not choose this Pattern When you want to push people outside the box in their quest for solutions. Use FreeBrainstorm instead. </p> <p>Overview The team brainstorms solutions for a problem in response to a sequence of comparative prompts offered by a moderator. Inputs A set of criteria for deciding which solutions are good and which are not so good. Outputs A set of potential solutions. </p> <p>How to DirectedBrainstorm Setup Develop a set of comparative prompts based on the criteria for solution quality. (For instructions and examples see the Insights section below.) Post a problem statement as the brainstorming question in Electronic Brainstorming. Create one brainstorming page for each participant, plus one extra, plus one additional page for each 10 people in the group (see the Setup and Insights sections in the FreeBrainstorming Pattern for an explanation) Steps Make sure the participants understand the problem.Say this: Please click the Go button to open a brainstorming page. Each of you is starting on a different electronic page. Please type in the single best solution to this problem that you can think of. When you finish typing your solution, please do not submit it. Just cross your arms so Ill know youre done. Wait till all have finished typing their first idea, then say this: Now press the F9 key to swap pages. Keep pressing the F9 key until you see a page with somebody elses solution on it. Give one of the comparative prompts. (See the Insights section below for explanation and examples). Repeat the pattern of swapping pages and responding to comparative prompts until the group runs out of time or ideas. </p> <p>Insights on DirectedBrainstorm The Magic of DirectedBrainstorm. By now you are no doubt wondering about these comparative-prompts-based-on-the-criteria-for solution-quality. These and the page swapping are the magic of DirectedBrainstorm. Imagine that you had a team that was trying to find ways to improve manufacturing methods. The criteria for good solutions might be: Reduced production time Higher quality More consistent quality Reduced production cost Your comparative prompts would ask people to come up with solutions that were better along those dimensions. Your activity would go something like this: Give me a solution that is more likely to reduce production time than would the ideas you see on your screen (Trade pages) Now give me a solution that is more likely to produce higher quality products than would any of the ideas you see in front of you. (Trade pages) Now contribute a solution that would be more likely to improve consistency of quality than would any of the previous ideas on your screen. (Trade Pages) Think of a solution that would be more likely to cut production costs than any of ideas youve seen so far </p> <p>If you were working with a team to improve conditions at an overcrowded university, you might prepare a list of comparative prompts before the meeting that looked like this: More likely to Cut class size Reduce faculty workload Bring in immediate cash Improve graduation rates </p> <p>You can cycle through your prompts several times, and you can change their wording as you go to keep things interesting. The magic, though, is in the cycle of swap-contribute better swap contribute better. Sometimes youll get a team where some people are very fast and some people are very slow. If you want you can let the fastest people swap pages and continue contributing while you are waiting for the slowest people. </p> <p>Fast and high quality, but not necessarily exhaustive. The DirectedBrainstorm Pattern is very fast and very focused. You tend to get good quality solutions, and the quality tends to get better as the process unfolds. There is very little noise in the results. People dont contribute silly and bad ideas, and they dont make comments about other peoples ideas. This means that it takes far less time to converge on the key issues when the brainstorming is over. However, this lack of noise can be a two-edged sword. In FreeBrainstorming people tend to argue with and elaborate on ideas. In DirectedBrainstorm they do not. Silly and bad ideas can be useful for pushing people outside the box, to explore the boundaries of their problem space and their solution space. Further, un-discussed and unchallenged ideas may be less well-understood and less useful than ideas that have been kicked around. So make sure you schedule a discussion to follow a DirectedBrainstorm. </p> <p>Whats in a Name? We call this Pattern DirectedBrainstorm because we ask the participants to compare their new ideas to the ideas that already exist, and to reject any contributions. </p> <p>17</p> <p>What do you do with this avalanche of ideas?</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>And why vote isn't always useful?How do we get people to quickly evaluate LOTS of ideas?</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>[The theory part]What are some common barriers to team agreement?</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Team made up from different stakeholder groups that have different (goals, assumptions, priorities)Lack of shared understanding of the same proposal ideas</p> <p>20</p> <p>Team members sometimes have conflicting goals, priorities, values, or assumptions</p> <p>goalsprioritiesvaluesassumptions</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>Addressing conflicting goals21</p> <p>Different criteriafor evaluating choices</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>22</p> <p>Agreement Requires TrustTrust is harder to achieve over distance</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>23</p> <p>The Problem with VotingYou get a result, but you don't knowPeople made the same assumptionsPeople used the same decision criteriaPeople trust and accept the result</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>One UpAlready knew: Analysis of the mission. Already knew: Analysis of factors affecting possible (COAs). Generate candidate COAs.Analyze COAs. Prioritize COAs. Support the recommended decision.</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>One UpQuestionAAADDDGGG</p> <p>QuestionHHHKKKPPPQuestionCCCFFFMMMQuestionLLLSSSTTT</p> <p>Everyone gets a random page to viewAsk first person, What one item on your list do we need to consider as a group?Add that item to public shared list.Ask next person, What one item not already on the shared list do we need to consider as a group?Repeat until all have added an item.Then loop through group again with, Is there anything in front of you noton the shared list that should not be lost?</p> <p>FFF GGGLLL PPP</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>26</p> <p>One Up Pattern InstructionsOverviewIn this Pattern, you converge on the best ideas and simultaneously develop criteria for evaluating them. Participants identify increasingly high quality ideas, while explaining why they are better than any of the previous ones. The explanation yield valuable information about the way to the evaluate the identified ideas.Choose this Pattern to converge on high quality results under time pressure. to surface the criteria for judging the quality of ideas as you converge on the ideas. after a brainstorm and before organization and evaluation. when the problem is murky and not well understood.Do not choose this Pattern if a thorough discussion of each idea is required. Try using a FastFocus or Evolution Pattern instead. if you do not need to know evaluation criteria. Use a FastFocus Pattern instead.</p> <p>See slide notes for more</p> <p>#VMSummit16</p> <p>OneUp Pattern</p> <p>Choose this Pattern to converge on high quality results under time pressure. to surface the criteria for judging the quality of ideas as you converge on the ideas. after a brainstorm and before organization and evaluation. when the problem is murky and not well understood.</p> <p>Do not choose this Pattern if a thorough discussion of each idea is required. Try using a FastFocus or Evolution Pattern instead. if you do not need to know evaluation criteria. Use a FastFocus Pattern instead.</p> <p>OverviewIn this Pattern, you converge on the best ideas and simultaneously develop criteria for evaluating them. Participants identify increasingly high quality ideas, while explaining why they are better than any of the previous ones. The explanation yield valuable information about the way to the evaluate the identified ideas.InputsA set of brainstorming comments.OutputsA short list of key items worthy of further attention.</p> <p>How to use OneUpSetupLeave the participants in the tool where they brainstormed their comments.Open a public list in any list building tool, e.g. Categorizer or Vote, and prepare to add key items.Open a private list in Categorizer and prepare to add criteria for evaluating items.</p> <p>Steps1 Say this:a Please look at the brainstorming comments in front of you on your screen.b In a moment I will call on each of you in turn.The first person I call on will tell me the most important itemrepresented in the discussion on his or her screen. I will post it on this list.From then on, when I call on you, you may suggest another item for the list.However, the ideas you offer must be better in some way that the ideas that are already on the list.You must offer both the idea, and the argument about why it is better than the previous ideas.As people offer items for the public list, discuss them, reframe them for clarity and brevity, and post them on the public list.As people offer arguments about why an idea is better than the existing ideas, abstract a criterion for judging idea quality, and post that on your private list. Later you can refine and condense those criteria and use them in moderated discussions or in a MultiCriteria Pattern.</p> <p>Insights on OneUpWhen time is of the essence and a team must converge quickly from a mass of brainstorming comments to a short list of high-quality items, OneUp is a good choice. With OneUp the group only needs to discuss ideas that are better in some way than the ideas theyve already discussed. That really cuts down on unnecessary conversation. With OneUp the team generates evaluation criteria on the fly. That speeds up any subsequent evaluations. With OneUp only the best ideas make the short list, which can cut evaluation and decision times. Its a win...</p>