My group is responsible for a portion of a large project. Every week I attend a particular meeting that I dislike intensely. It is supposed to be a project status meeting, but it is not focused and ends up generating a great deal of scope creep, fomenting confusion and inevitably stroking someone’s ego. It drags on, sometimes well past its allotted 60 minute time slot, and little is accomplished along the way.
It’s a great example of what not to do in a meeting. Though there is an agenda, we slog through it laconically. Expectations are low, so key staff and stakeholders arrive unprepared to provide status; many fail to show all together. Though I typically favor team member involvement, several weeks ago I advised my development team that they could use the hour for more productive work, and I would pass along information should anything useful arise.
Part of the problem is that the scope of the project was not defined with our business partners in advance; instead, it was confined to corner-office discussions to which the primary stakeholders were not privy. Executive management dictated an expensive and expansive process which introduces a lot of risk, then failed to support it.
Certainly a valuable lesson can be derived from this project, though I fear it will be lost to those who most require the education.