One Trick to Quicker Project Meetings: Realizing the Cost

Well baby, there you stand
With your little head, down in your hand
Oh, my God, you can’t believe it’s happening again
Your baby’s gone, and you’re all alone
and it looks like the end.

— The Eagles, “Wasted Time”

Too few meetings have agendas.  Too few meetings think about the cost of what they’re wasting.  Here’s an idea from my instructor that I want to try out:

  1. Figure out who needs to be in the meeting.
  2. Get someone in finance to give you burdened labor rates for all people in that meeting.
  3. Write your agenda, including an expected duration.
  4. At the header of that agenda, write the dollar cost of the meeting, which is the sum of the product of each person’s labor rate by the duration of the meeting.
  5. Calculate the dollar cost of each additional minute in the meeting and put it just below the total cost on the agenda.

This will drive home the real cost of never-ending meetings.

I remember what you told me before you went out on your own:
“Sometimes to keep it together, we got to leave it alone.”
So you can get on with your search, baby, and I can get on with mine
And maybe someday we will find, that it wasn’t really wasted time