How to Manage Team Meetings and Calls

When you’re working from home or when a client wants to have a call with you to discuss things with your team, you’d want to be in a space that’s quiet. A space where only you, your team and your client share. It’s a place where your minds meet and where agreements are made. It’s safe to mention that this space needs to be as serene and as sacred as possible.

Working from home by ishane, on Flickr
Photo by  ishane 

In any case, you’ll want to have your call go as smoothly as possible. With that, I’ve created a checklist of things you will want to remember before having that meeting. Check it out:

  • Have a purpose for the call – Like every meeting, there always has to be a reason behind it. This allows you to focus on one things alone which makes for an efficient discussion between members of your group.
  • Have your team prepare before the call – For scrum meetings or start or end of day calls, you’ll want to have your team members and yourself go through their list of to-dos for the day. Have them send you their respective lists so you have a good understanding as to how and what you guys have done and are up to.

This allows you to not only monitor each person’s progress but also make suggestions regarding tasks. It also gives your call a pattern to follow so the propensity of getting lost in the call goes down to nil.

  • Set a time limit – Having an efficient call allows you to save more time and focus more on the work load. Efficiency can be described as being able to do quality work in the shortest amount of time possible. So set a target time with which you can end your call. I started going for at least 20 minutes, then we went down to 15 and so forth. At this time, we’re able to reach the bottom-line in 10 minutes tops and we still have time to horse around!
  • Skip the Horseradish – Speaking of horsing around, I understand that to lighten things up a bit, someone might come up with a joke or mention something a team mate’s peeved about. Try to avoid this before you reach the bottom-line of the call.

After you reach the bottom-line and you think it’s absolutely okay to horse around (because quite frankly, we need it), then don’t go as far as 3 minutes. End the call and work.

  • Have someone list it all down – You want to be clear on what’s been discussed primarily because it’ll be your reference when you get lost in an almost inevitable fit of confusion and chaos. This is why you need someone to list what’s been discussed in the call. If you can, you can have it recorded and played back.
  • Choose reliable software – Skype, GoToMeeting, whatever that software is, make sure it’s something that’s easy to install and allows everyone to participate in the discussion.

That about wraps it up for this little blog post about managing your team calls. Let me know how you handle your calls.