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Template: Best Practices to Reduce Meetings

Why does this matter? Guru believes internal communication should be asynchronous by default to foster a knowledge driven-culture. We want to have time to both write...and read.

TLDR: Meetings are essential for comradery and collaboration but can be a productivity and energy drain without the proper planning and expectation setting.

Make a list of every meeting you attend and or organize. For each meeting, ask yourself the following:

  1. Could this meeting be a Guru Card? Could this meeting be Guru Card + video for context?

  2. Have you clearly defined your 4 Ps?

  3. Purpose: What is the purpose of the meeting and how does it align with the current Company OKRs and critical active projects?

  4. Product: What will attendees be able to do or what decision will be made at the end of this meeting?

  5. People: Who attends the meeting and why are they there?

    1. What roles does each attendee play before, during and after the meeting?

    2. What's the RACI model?

  6. Process: To ensure you're making the best use of in-person (Zoom) time together, share an agenda in the cal invite and in advance of the meeting


Review these tips to analyze your results:

  1. If you get stuck answering the question, “what is the purpose of the meeting?” usually, you can stop right there. If you cannot clearly define the meeting’s purpose and expected product outcomes, you probably do not need that meeting.

  2. If the meeting was primarily for information sharing, what other ways can you share information that does not require a meeting? Hint: Guru

  3. How much does your meeting cost? Are you getting the most value from this time?

  4. Is there any overlap in agenda items from one meeting to the next? If you’re talking about the same things in different meetings, why? If you don’t have a good reason for that, find a way to streamline.

  5. Could you consolidate meetings by changing who attends which meeting? If you’re talking about the same things with different groups, could you combine the groups in some way?

  6. Does the order of your meetings make sense? Are you getting the information flow you need to be most effective? Most often, it works best to have departments meet before the executive team so that the company leaders have the most current data from their teams as they go into their executive team weekly meeting.


Communicate, cancel, and reschedule:

  1. Be explicit with teammates about the purpose of the meeting audit and why you're canceling/changing meetings (time back for focus time!)

  2. Include the 4 Ps in the body of the invite, in the Asana project, and always pin Guru documentation in the Slack channel (employees should be going to Guru for project details and Asana in some cases for project/task management vs. Slack).