The 80/20 Principle of Meetings

80/20 Principle of Meetings
Author: Ron Hiller l  Published Date 3/2013
Blog Category: Goal Management

How Are We Doing?
We have all attended those update meetings with our boss. Seated around a conference table with our peers, we each take our turn center stage sharing our progress toward our assigned tasks. Sound familiar? It should because this scenario is played out every day in every line of business. Let’s be clear. This update meeting is primarily about data gathering.

Where's the Data?
A leader needs current and accurate information to help formulate next steps and make informed decisions. It is also about harnessing the collective wisdom and synergy of the group to solve problems.  So why do these meetings tend to be excessively unproductive? Before answering this question let’s first take a moment to explore a participant’s activities leading up to the meeting, or as I prefer to call it the ‘Pre-Meeting Crunch’.   (Read More Starts Here)
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The Pre Meeting Crunch
In preparation for the meeting each participant probably put their team through a similar drill, looking over their status reports, and scoreboards asking clarifying questions and taking notes. “How many units were produced? What is our inventory? How many sales were made? What is our backlog? What is next month’s outlook?”

Making Sense of the Data

Scoreboards, reports and notes merge in a massive information dump. Now the manager is faced with the onerous task of transforming the data into bottom line information to answer that vague open ended question from their boss, “How are we doing?”
Unproductive Meetings
Meetings are necessary, yet many are unproductive. The most frequent cause of unproductive meetings is the inordinate amount of time spent reviewing last week’s, last month’s or last quarter’ s data leaving little time to thoroughly fix performance gaps. The 80/20 principle comes into play when more time is spent determining HOW we are Doing versus HOW do we Fix a problem.

There is a better way?

Online goal management provides managers and their higher level manager with just in time updates from their subordinates replete with business metrics, next steps and more. Managers have real time scoreboard data on any goal, objective, or deliverable 24X7 anywhere.
Go from “How are we doing” to “We need to fix this”

Meetings are valuable only if they get you closer to achieving your goal. Most meetings could be made more productive by spending less time collecting and reviewing information and more time discussing creative solutions. Goal management software makes face to face meetings far more constructive because managers are focused on fixing problems instead of determining if there is a problem.

Goals are meant to be achieved. Employee Performance and Goal management software is a gift an organization gives itself to streamline the performance scorecard and data gathering process, so less time is spent on identifying performance gaps and more time focused on bridging them.


READ - Performance Management Blog "Why Employees Get a Bad Rap"

READ - Leadership Blog  "Dispelling 4 Leadership Myths"


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