Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Over the past two weeks, I have had no fewer than three meetings canceled or moved in a way which I found unacceptable. I find these things unacceptable due to the fact that I like order in my life (despite what my desk looks like). Therefore, I am proposing the following:
THE 100x RULE:
If you EVER want to schedule a meeting with someone, take the amount of time that you think the meeting will last. Multiply that value by 100. Add that time to the current time. This is THE EARLIEST TIME that you can possibly schedule the meeting. What does this mean? For a 1-hour meeting, the earliest time that you can actually have your meeting is four days after the initial planning meeting. This give presenters a minimal time to prepare, and interviewers time to investigate the interesting questions about the presentation that they want answered. If this is not a presentation meeting, then everyone has time to do their work and know exactly what to report during the meeting, eliminating most of the awkward pauses that contain the "you go next" connotation. It is far easier to book rooms this far in advance, as well, and this would lead to far less scheduling conflicts. Secondly
THE 10% RULE:
If a meeting ever needs to be moved (and this should ONLY be for a cataclysmic event, such as a volcano warning on the day of the meeting in the exact vicinity of the meeting) then the meeting can only be moved by 10% of the time from the time of meeting movement to the initial meeting time. It would play out like this:
I set up a meeting on Monday for next Monday at 3 PM for a status report on Widget X, the new and improved Widget W. However, on Friday at 1PM, I find out that a portal to another dimension is going to open in the exact meeting location 15 minutes after the meeting is supposed to start. I decide that this is unacceptable. There are currently 74 hours before the meeting. I can now move the meeting by 7.4 hours in either direction. However, if I find this out on Monday morning, say at 9:30 AM, I can move the meeting by half an hour at best. Lets hope this meeting can be compressed to 45 minutes, or that the other dimension isn't so bad.
Just some thoughts at 2AM from a cranky engineer.