Aligning the company through weekly and daily meetings
Recap of previous blog
In my last blog I talked about the importance of listening and observing when you are new to a leadership role. Talk with all your staff in a neutral location preferably offsite in a café or similar. Let them talk about their frustrations and what they see could be done better within the organisation. Prioritise these points and act on some easy ones quickly to build momentum and build personal credibility.
Daily and Weekly Meetings Build Consistency
This week I want to talk about setting up a regime of Daily and Weekly meetings. The purpose of these are to keep focus on the issues needing resolution and later to align all staff with a set of values that are the company’s D&A. I instigated a weekly staff meeting (all employees) and a daily scrum meeting for our software developers of 15 to 20 minutes maximum.
Weekly staff meeting (Approx 1-1.5 hours)
The thing about staff meetings is that the agenda needs to be thought out clearly so the “buy in” to the meeting is high by all staff.
I set the agenda and forwarded this to all staff so they knew in advance what was to be covered. The agenda followed the same pattern until that pattern needed to change. In general the agenda covered;
- Weekly Wins – New clients on-boarded or additional business from existing clients.
- Business Development Manager’s Report – Prospects in the pipeline
- Marketing Manager’s Report – What marketing activity was coming up and a review of marketing activity just completed.
- General Manager Report – I would summarize the Good and the Bad from that week as I saw it. The key thing was what we learned from the Bad that needed to change.
I would also train all staff on some aspect of the Business. In EDIS’s evolution these topics covered things like; effective communication, explaining our strategic planning process and the expectation on staff from this process, understanding the company’s KPIs (which I had developed) and reviewing our recent results against these indicators. I also spent a lot of time training our team on our Values – (A dedicated Blog on our Values is coming!)
- System Improvements – As a collective, we picked a system or procedure within the company that needed improving. We discussed how we could improve the system. Then the GM would draw up an action plan to implement the improvements. At each weekly meeting
we discussed progress against the action plan and those responsible for delivery would report their progress.
NB: A key learning of mine from the start of my career was that; “You only get what you measure”
So holding staff and management to account against a set of action plans and asking them to report on progress was a great incentive for ensuring they delivered.
Daily Scrum Meeting (only for the Software Developers) 15-20 min max
EDIS had a history of going over the time budget for projects. So I instigated a Daily Scrum Meeting. This consisted of a Scrum Board in our meeting room which listed all jobs currently being worked on and the developers working on each job. In affect this meeting was a WIP meeting. But again we held staff accountable to delivery dates on key project milestones. These milestones were clearly written on the board. With this transparency around projects we improved our “On Time” project delivery.
Instigating a weekly and daily meeting regime I believe was vital to building momentum. I also believed that total transparency and understanding of both our strategy and our financials was important to build commitment and Buy In. EDIS had a 100% developer turnover per year, so commitment and buy in was critically important to stem this bleeding of experience.
Every quarter I would present the financials to all staff against our revenue, sales and overheads budget. Again this was to build trust, increase transparency and to build a team culture.
Quarterly Review Meetings:
I also conducted a quarterly Review Meetings with the management team. At this meeting we reviewed where we were against our Strategic Plan. Our plan details the actions required and the completion dates. So this meeting was to ensure we were on track to achieve these deadlines. We also identified Red Flags where delivery dates may be compromised. Therefore we had an opportunity to either revisit the delivery date or add more resource to the project.
Again, its all about keeping that momentum going.