Do you really need that meeting?

Links, On Startups

Good meetings require a few things – an owner, an objective, and an outcome.

But an even more fundamental part of any good meeting is making sure you need to be there in the first place.

As a company grows, so does its need to communicate. As new employees join, and new teams are created, meetings are seen as one of the best ways to keep everyone on the same page. But it’s a mistake to assume everyone needs to be on the same page at all times. Great companies contain many pages. The art is knowing who needs to be on each one at any given time.

Whether it’s meetings, email, or Slack messages, it’s worth remembering one of the most important principles of communication: the more communication there is, the more difficult it is for communication to succeed.

You can determine the impact this has on any meeting by using Brooks’ Law. If adding people to a late software project makes it longer, then adding people to a meeting only makes it longer too.

We use Slack for a lot of our meetings and standups here, since we're entirely remote it's nice to be able to just message about something. Otherwise, we use Slack's call feature when we need to talk, or hangouts when we need face to face but mostly a good Slack chat gets everything out there.

I've worked places where everything involved a massive multi-hour meeting to decide on something as simple as logo placement, so I've been on both sides of the meeting debate, even meetings to debate if we need meetings.