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“Pointless meetings will cost U.S. companies a whopping $399 billion in 2019”

Ultimate Guide To Meetings

Recurring Meetings

Recurring meetings are scheduled with a recurrence cycle that can be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly. They are used for various reasons: One on Ones (1:1), team meeting, pushing a specific project, reviewing sales performance, pushing forward a project, updating all employees and more.

All recurring meetings have one thing in common - they are scheduled once but guarantee to create meeting waste forever.

Ad Hoc Meetings

Ad hoc meetings are set individually and usually to discuss a specific subject or give an update. In some situations, an employee may invite a meeting just to get early feedback and opinions on a subject.


1 / Vertical 1:1s

These are meetings with a direct report and his manager. These meetings are sometimes used for updates on what happened during the course of the week. Some employees use it to manage the manager and give him tasks. In other situations the 1:1 may include a component of personal growth.

2 / Horizontal 1:1s

These would normally happen with two managers that has the same rank but different function and needs to synchronize on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It’s more common to have these when the two managers are not in the same location.

3 / Diagonal 1:1s

Similar to horizontal 1:1s, these meetings are not following the standard reporting lines. They may happen between a manager of one department and a dotted relationship - meaning a person on another team that is tasked with helping that manager.

4 / Skip Level 1:1s

Skip level meetings happen when the manager of the manager wants to speak to specific direct reports on some cadence. They are usually less frequent than the horizontal 1:1s. The manager may want to make a specific individual contributor feel important but also get a sense of what’s hapening int he field more directly.

Meeting Types


Daily Stand Up

A popular format for R&D teams who update each other about tasks and blockers. Should be short - 10-15 minutes but sometimes this gets lost and it becomes inefficient. 


Town Hall / All Hands

These meetings are normally a broadcast from the CEO or a GM of one of the groups. Often times, the stage is given to one of the VPs to discuss progress in his area. The delivery is key to make this meeting engaging and often times it’s lacking.


Steering Committee

This meeting is the one to rule them all. A bunch of managers sit in a room with multiple project teams and go over all the projects one by one to get the status, resolve issues on the spot and identify trends. These meetings can be highly ineffective as they are large in addition to being long when updates are being read from the slides. The easy fix here is to split it into sub meetings with one project team at a time.


Guild Meeting

Usually happens in a bi-weekly or monthly cadence. The purpose of this meeting is to gather people of the same function who report to different teams in their day to day. Optimal agenda would revolve around knowledge shareing and growth but lack of preparation can turn them into a real snooze. 


Retrospective Meeting

This is another meeting introduced as part of the Scrum process. It’s purpose is to reflect on the last sprint and see what can be improved.


Manager / Report 1:1

In an ideal world this meeting should be managed by the employee and agenda should revolve around personal growth and escalations. In many situations managers misuse it for micro management.


Project Sync

Recurring meeting that is called to make sure the project stays on track. Mostly the participants are reporting the progress on their tasks which can improve the chances they will actually have progress. In an optimal world, these meetings would be used only for deciding the next steps rather than getting the updates.


Team Meeting

Weekly meeting at the team level is common in all levels from the team lead to the CEO’s management meeting. The agenda can be quite diverse as sometimes a big update would take over the meeting while in other times the meeting is used for education or just to get updates. These meeting are often under prepared due the work load on the manager who organized them.


Kickoff Meeting

Usually happens at the beginning of the project to gather everyone in the same room and make sure there is buy-in and make everyone aware of the objective, the timeline and what’s needed on their side.

“One-third of Meetings Are Unnecessary, Costing Companies Millions (and No One Is Happy About It)”

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