Internal Meetings: Finding a Productive Balance

Here at Fabled Solutions, we value productivity. We always have several web development projects as well as internal initiatives on the go, and so we focus on staying on task in order to meet our deadlines. Although we use Slack to communicate throughout the day and Harvest to track our time allocation, we enjoy our team meetings in order to check in with each other and get a more formal update on what we have been accomplishing. One thing we constantly work on is striking the right balance between having too few or too many meetings. 

We Value People over Processes

Meetings are essential for communication, collaboration, and decision-making, but they are often seen as a drain on productivity and time. In our company, we have a pretty simple mantra when it comes to team meetings; it’s quality over quantity. We would rather have one super productive meeting that leaves everyone feeling like they’re on the same page, than a dozen sessions that eat up our precious time. In the end, it’s all about making sure that when we gather, whether virtually or in-person, we’re focused, engaged, and moving the needle forward. 

Let’s go through the 2 types of meetings we are committed to at Fabled Solutions.

Focused, Weekly Check-in Meetings

Our weekly check-in meetings are done virtually to make sure all our team members across Canada can join, they are structured, and we cap them at 30 minutes. We each take time sharing what we’ve been working on over the past week. Each person gets 2-3 minutes to present something they’ve worked on, followed by 2-3 minutes to talk about a challenge they are facing and whether they need help from a team member. We find this meeting layout beneficial for several reasons:

  • Awareness – First, all of our team members are more aware of what each other person has been up to. One of our developers could have set up multiple databases and developed several intricate features for a system, while another may have deployed a website for a different client. This check-in allows our project manager to ensure we are on track to meet project deadlines and gives us a chance to congratulate each other on the great work we’ve been doing. It also helps us focus our social channels on topics that are relevant to our work environment.
  • Problem Solving – One of the best parts about working with a team is all of the different backgrounds and knowledge bases. What one team member may see as a challenge, another may see as a strength. By announcing something that we are struggling with, we open the door for others to step in and help either by providing different perspectives, advice, or even the solution!
  • Collectivity – Another positive outcome from these meetings is having our team feel like more of a collective. As mentioned before, we have a very focused environment, and so having a reoccurring opportunity to listen to each other and work together strengthens us each week. Some team members may never get to team up on projects, and so working together to solve a weekly challenge prepares us for the day those said team members do need to work together. No one gets left behind, and we are all willing to help if someone is in need.

In-Person Quarterly Lunch & Learns

We are big advocates of celebrating one another’s achievements and making sure we present our team with chances to learn, develop, and grow in their careers. That is why we work hard to come together in-person at least once every quarter. During those Lunch and Learns, we present a project spotlight. We showcase the new technology used, talk about the challenges we have had to overcome, and everything new we’ve learned. We also make time to acknowledge new career or professional development milestones. Sometimes we bring in experts to present on topics that will make us a stronger and better performing team, on an individual and group basis. But the best part of it all, is the great food and conversations we have, as we catch-up and learn more about each other. 

Internal Team Meetings and Beyond

Although our organization develops digital solutions for companies in Alberta and Canada-wide, and thrives alongside technology, we still find face-to-face contact and communication vital to our organization both internally and externally. Even if we plan to conduct most of our business virtually with our clients, we will normally in the least have a kick-off meeting in person. Some clients even come in monthly for functionality requests and check-ins! Productivity is our focus, and so communicating effectively, in an appropriate time and place, and in a timely manner is something we strive for. 
If you would like to learn more about how we do things internally or how we manage your project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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