I’m really not a big fan of meetings. I realize every project requires effective communications. Somehow, we equate effective communication into let’s have a meeting. But do meetings really mean we are more productive and effective in our jobs? I don’t think so and now have some “data” to support this.
- “. . . many organizational problems are caused by failure to communicate. Most people try to solve this probelm by increasing the amount of communication: cc’ing everybody on an email, having long meetings and inviting the whole staff, and asking for everyone’s two cents before implementing a decision.”
- Fred Brooks published The Mythical Man-Month in 1975. One of his observations: Adding more resources / people to a project which is behind will make the project run later still. And the bigger the project team, the worse it gets! [The article includes a nice chart showing how many connections there are for projects based on the number of team members. The formula to determine how many connections is (n^2-n)/2.]
- Increasing the number of communications / connections in a project will increase the operating costs of the project. If the project has too many connections, all anyone has time to do is coordinate with everyone else, reducing the amount of actual work getting done.
- As the boss / project manager, you need to establish ways to reduce quantity of communication paths. Stop having large meetings. Reward people for doing their jobs. Assign one person to make sure the right communications happen.