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Monday, February 22, 2010

Meeting Codes of Conduct

In a previous post I talked about the use of SPACER (Safety, Purpose, Agenda, Conduct, Expectations, and Roles & Responsibilities) as a technique to improve team meeting efficiency and effectiveness.

Safety – is always the top priority, discuss safety protocols like evacuation, PPE or safety equipment needed in the facility, bathroom location, etc.
Purpose – “what is the meeting for?”, discuss what is in scope and what might not be.
Agenda – no matter what type of meeting or for how long there should be some sort of plan
Conduct – what are the rules the team participants should adhere to while in the meeting like cell phone us, side discussions, etc.
Expectations – what do we expect to get out of this meeting especially if it is a training session?
Roles – what are the roles of the participants in the meeting, is there a note taker or time keeper for example.

Today, I want to discuss codes of conduct in more detail. Codes of conduct are merely a set of guidelines by which a team agrees to operate. Such codes are guidelines designed to enhance the productivity of team meetings. The following are a few common examples of codes of conduct:
  • Arrive on time for scheduled meetings.
  • Stick to the agenda.
  • “3 Knock” rule if any team member deviates from the agenda (this is when a person politely knocks on the table to provide an audio indicator that the speaker is going off track of the agenda topic being discussed).
  • Everyone’s ideas will be heard.
  • One person speaks at a time.
  • No sidebars.
  • “Parking Lot” for out of scope ideas (this is a place on the easel pad where topics are placed for consideration on the next meeting agenda because they are not appropriate for the meeting at hand).
This is just a sampling of common sense ideas to give an idea as to what team meeting guidelines can be like. As you adopt your own codes of conduct it may be beneficial to frame and post these in meeting rooms. This will provide a simple visual reminder that will encourage people to abide to the guidelines in an effort not to waste other people’s time.

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  1. dear tim
    i want to see the kizen example on your blog which was there it was some 23 min video
    about a plastic packing process

  2. Rohan,
    I think you are refering to a post from a fellow blogger named Jon Wetzel at Lean For Everyone. You can find that video at http://leanforeveryone.typepad.com/lean_for_everyone/2010/02/seeing-a-kaizen-in-action-23-minutes-roi-of-3000.html

  3. Love the 3 knock rule! Hadn't heard of it before. I also use the Vegas rule if group needs to discuss something controversial. "What's discussed here, stays here."