by Emma Dallas | October 20, 2021 12:18 pm
This article was updated in October 2021.
Have you ever been stuck in a poorly organized meeting? Things are getting chaotic where somebody is speaking, others interrupt, and as a result, nothing is decided. There is a more practical scenario of holding a meeting with your staff.
We’ve consulted those who have meetings every day and know all possible scenarios thanks to working on projects with hundreds of sessions a month. A Team Lead of the Game Testing department will share his best practices on how to run a team meeting that everyone will enjoy.
Why is it so important to hold effective meetings? Let the numbers speak:
Not inspiring statistics, right? It is relevant for the majority of meetings, and we shall speak about the sphere we have expertise in – quality assurance. Before giving advice and revealing the secrets, we need to make transparent what meetings we are going to speak about. The frequency and forms of rallies will depend on several factors: project type, methodology, size of a team, etc. If we talk about the group of software testers, here is the list of the most typical meetings for them:
Nazar, a QA Team Lead, says about meetings within the testing team:
“Daily meetings became rare as they take too much time. So instead, we try to discuss issues in the process of emergence and rely more on tester’s experience to give them more freedom, and therefore, a sense of responsibility.”
What is the role of a QA lead at meetings?
“I ask questions about the status of the project, and, if necessary, plan a further strategy for project testing.” – shares the QATestLab team lead.
Team Leads, for example, are also in charge of the following communications:
All these meetings have different timings, formality, and interaction; still, they are held with a definite purpose, and we should not take them as chattering during working hours. So,if you want to know how to make the communication as effective for business as a vacation for a good mood, keep reading.
There are some tools that will work for the effectiveness of your meetings: video conferencing, task management software, tools for automatic scheduling, and so on. But will they guarantee the boom of productivity for your rallies? In 70% of all cases, improving is not about using special software but rather an attitude towards them, the so-called “mindset”. People are the ones who influence the efficiency of communication, and a few simple rules can work better than dozens of elaborate tools.
This requirement may seem as clear as day, but the truth is that a lot of meetings start without a specific plan or purpose. Use one of the ways to visualize the agenda:
These ways will help everyone to understand the purpose of gathering and navigate the flow. Agenda, prepared beforehand, serves as a guide map during conversation and helps get back on track in case discussion runs overtime.
“My advice for Team Leads who want to make the most of their meetings is to focus on planning and stop word flooding during the meetings.” – says Nazar.
What could be worse than waiting for a person responsible for the meeting to appear? Unfortunately, many people with positions and power have a bad habit of being late, making others feel less valuable and more dependent. Employees take their cues from the person in charge, and if they want the rally to start on time, it will.
Another skill of a valid meeting master is finishing the communication within the predefined timeframes. This practice will help you prepare a clear agenda and let others plan their time for the whole day.
You should cover this point, preparing the agenda for the upcoming meeting. The goal defines the purpose of gathering and speaking. Make sure you’ve thought over and noted down every issue that needs discussion and the final results that you are about to get. If the meeting participants understand why they are gathered and what you expect from them, this will speed up the process and make it explicit.
Do you want to save time, effort, and nerves? Invite as few people to your meetings as possible. The most effective rallies have less than eight people present, which helps concentrate on speakers, limit the information flow, and avoid unnecessary details.
“We try to hold meetings for six people maximum; otherwise, you cannot pay the necessary attention to every tester and the difficulties they faced at the project,” – shares Nazar, the Team Lead at QATestLab.
The best shot for this requirement is to prepare a written document that will hold the discussed issues, made decisions or the so-called “parking lot” for questions that need individual discussion or a delay until another call. In case you don’t want to waste time on this, handle these issues at the end of a meeting:
“I always leave some 5 minutes at the close of each conversation to make things clear. The reason is to understand “who’s got the ball” and what are the further actions to solve this or that issue.” – notes the Team Lead of the Game Testing Department.
Well-organized and structured communication is a road to problem-solving. So, this way will raise your business to the next level. All you need is to spend some time planning meetings, defining goals, and addressing the right people. Do not forget to stick to the schedule and give a summary of what you’ve discussed and decided. Brilliant speakers aren’t born, they are taught, and you may take the first lesson from this article where we gathered the best experience of QATestLab specialists. Use these helpful but straightforward blog tips, preparing for your nearest meeting. Results won’t keep you waiting.
Source URL: https://blog.qatestlab.com/2021/10/20/make-meetings-effective/
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