Updated: Feb 21
Meetings can be a pleasant diversion from work. You can catch up with colleagues share stories and enjoy some instant rapport. They can also be an infuriating waste of time. However, meetings are also essential for effective workplace communication.
A meeting organiser can improve the quality of meetings by using POPE. This stands for:
Purpose: why are you calling a meeting?
Outcome: what will the outcome of the meeting be?
Process: how will you run the meeting, what do people need before, during and after?
Evaluation: how will you know that the outcome has been achieved?
For example, you have received a proposal to build a new website and need to get your colleagues to sign-off before committing. You do an evaluation but need everyone to be on board and so you invite people to a meeting:
Purpose: evaluate the website build proposal
Outcome: go/no-go for the proposal
Process: review the offer against the criteria in the RFQ (please read my draft evaluation attached)
Evaluation: we agree to accept, modify or reject the proposal
Attach this to every meeting invitation and let everyone know what you need so that if they can decide to attend and know what to prepare. If the meeting gets off track anyone can call it back by referring to the POPE.
You may even find that by thinking about your POPE you don't really need a meeting. This method is most effective when the meeting is a one-off.
Thanks to Charles Manning of Face the World for introducing me to POPE.