Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives
What is a morning meeting?
Morning meetings enable team leaders to supervise the team right at the time when they are freshest, most energetic, and with work drives that are not yet hampered by fatigue. Morning meetings can do well to improve the economy by uplifting the general standards of team interactions in the workplace. And with better teamwork comes better productivity and company growth thus an improved economy. The project team undertaking these morning meetings can get hold of potential problems early in the day, and thus prevent it from getting worse. Morning meetings are also ways to provide in-house training for the project team as they exercise their group vibes in the spontaneous and cheerful atmosphere of the morning meeting. The team members develop their camaraderie in the morning meeting and this facilitates better work collaboration and team spirit. They are trained how to handle company procedures and tasks in the regular, continuous, and upbeat atmosphere of the morning meeting. And when the totally busy days comes wherein everyone can be running around, morning meetings can be just the right tool for getting the team back into sync.
The morning meeting is a kind of status meeting that is conducted in the morning to take advantage of the optimal conditions that the project team is in. Fresh minds and fresh physical conditions reinforce the team to produce better results of ideas and actions. Some companies produce better results in productivity when they conduct morning meetings. Some companies neither loses nor gains in productivity as far as morning meetings are concerned.
Who does morning meetings and why?
Various companies practice morning meetings as part of their company routine in improving the organizational capabilities of the team. The rationale of having the team at their optimal mental and physical conditions seem to be the overwhelming argument for conducting morning meetings. When project issues at hand are very critical, morning meetings sounds as the best way of addressing the issue. The team can make use of their top mental and physical states in the morning to bring about an early resolution to a critical issue that is besetting the company.
How to do a morning meeting
A generic agenda for conducting morning meetings has been set up as a standard by Dr. Ben Cronje, a business expert who developed the Business Skills Assessment system in Africa. The agenda is composed of the following steps in doing a morning meeting:
- A roll call or attendance taking of the team members
- The chairman reads his report concerning overall picture of the company, its progress, problems and current status.
- Each member of the team gives his individual status report detailing his achievements and the obstacles in his tasks.
- The chairman or team leader gives an and assessment of the company, the team and the project upon analysis of the two reports.
- Mistakes, failures and shortcomings are identified and corrections and remedial actions take effect with the decision of the whole team.
- Successes achieved previously are taken into account.
- Goals are reviewed and new ones may be added.
- The gist of previous discussions are taken.
- Discussions on current issues then begins.
- Actions and decisions are put into effect.
These steps identify the actions undertaken in a typical morning meeting. Morning meetings should also be formal at times.
Advantages of conducting morning meetings
Morning meetings serves as in-house trainers for project team members, training them to properly handle group procedures and tasks. The team develops skills in collaborative work as well improving in their social skills that generate better team work and team spirit. All the members of the project team participate in morning meetings – raising motivational levels, improving planning procedures, elevating goals to be achieved, pinpointing problems and implementing the subsequent remedial steps, practicing status reporting and demonstrating that all actions in the company are towards a structured program of continuous progress and development and nothing is arbitrary.
Disadvantages of morning meetings
Several arguments against the practice of status meetings being done in the morning also appear over time when team managers see its disadvantages during the course of their practice of it. These disadvantages cannot be controlled for some and are also part of the nature of working people. One argument states that since morning is the time when the team is at their best with regards to mind and body, then this time will have better use when applied to project works and tasks thereby increasing efficiency and productivity of team members. A certain theory, called the Willpower theory by psychologist Roy Baumeister states that willpower can also be used up in the course of day to day activities, and suggests that willpower is least in the afternoons. Less willpower means being more prone to errors in decisions and choices. Thus, if a meeting is a simple status update, then it is best done in the afternoon when the team does’nt have to make decisions.
The best ways of doing morning meetings
Limits of team members are the main factors to consider in putting together a very good practice of morning meetings. Workers in a workplace have their limits as far as their energy, moods, preferences and time schedules are concerned. With regards to energy, a provision of a few snacks could help provide the energy they need. Moods can also be a factor. Research in the field of business practices suggests that very early morning meetings could find the team members in a sluggish condition and in no mood to attend. On the other hand, a late morning meeting could find them enthusiastic as they already had accomplished something. With preferences and time, a meeting that does not conflict with personal schedules stands to give best results.
Teamreporter as a tool for morning meetings
Every meeting would require all members of the team to be updated on current status of the team project. With morning meetings, this means updates should have been read the night before and team member comments and suggestions already thought over. Teamreporter, a web based email application, is most appropriate in these kinds of situations. Teamreporter is very simple and easy to manage and operate. Upon a short setting up, Teamreporter begins operating automatically sending queries for team members to respond to and then sending back the team project status update to each member upon processing of their individual status reports. In actual operation Teamreporter does the following:
- Creating questions that the team members will answer.
- Tailoring the questions to be asked to fit project needs
- Scheduling the sending out of email queries.
- Upon receiving individual team member reports,scheduling of team status updates to every team member.
- Adopting preset business scenarios.
- Prompting team members who forget their reports.
- Arranging an archive of team status reports
It has the following advantages:
- Ready in 5 minutes
- Free startup
- Accessible even to novice users and managers
- No IT software or hardware requirements
- Only email login required for Team members
Alternatives to morning meetings
The simple alternatives to doing morning meetings are meetings done in the midday, afternoon and meetings done in the evening. Midday meetings are not really exactly at 12 PM. If it is, then the team members would be to sluggish in their disposition. 10 AM would be more like it. Afternoon meetings gives the advantage of the team having already accomplished something and finds them in relaxed and undistracted state. Evening meetings are for the night owls and is applicable when and to whom it applies.
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