Has one of your goals this year been to make your organization more productive? In many cases, greater productivity starts with more efficient meetings. Meetings can be a major source of wasted time and energy, derailing your team’s progress and ultimately hurting your bottom line. Implementing the PAT (“purpose,” “agenda,” and “timeframe”) method to the management of meetings can ensure time among team members is spent as productively as possible. Here’s a breakdown of the PAT method and how you can implement it effectively:
Define each meeting’s purpose. When scheduling any meeting, it’s important to define its purpose in advance. Articulating in one or two words the point of the meeting in terms of what needs to be accomplished will ensure every participant understands what they will be expected to discuss and contribute. This sets the tone for the progress that needs to be made from the gathering. If you can’t identify a central purpose, it may not be beneficial to have a meeting at all.
Set an agenda. Before any meeting, setting an agenda of items to be discussed is critical for keeping participants on track. An agenda does not have to be lengthy to be effective and can consist of a few bullet points outlining a list of topics that need to be covered and the individual(s) responsible for addressing each item. Typically, it’s best to circulate the agenda ahead of the meeting, so all participants have a chance to review it beforehand and come prepared with any notes or questions.
Determine a timeframe. Establishing a timeframe for each meeting, including a start and end time, will keep participants focused on addressing all agenda items in a timely fashion. In addition, indicating a timeframe for each item will also allow ample time for every matter to be discussed, without one item receiving more attention than another. Lastly, a pre-determined timeframe will demonstrate to participants that you respect their time and are committed to making the meeting as efficient as possible.
By incorporating the “PAT” method within management protocols, you can significantly improve the productivity of your meetings, which will ultimately have a positive impact on your organization at large.
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