Rands on how to make meetings suck less

Meet with your reports.  Every week at the same time (no matter what – do not move these or reschedule them) and for at least 30 minutes each (book 45 minutes so you have room if it runs over).

Oftentimes, the first reaction to this is “Wait, I have 20 people.  You’re suggesting I’m going to spend 10 hours a week managing having these meetings with folks?”  Lopp has two responses: (1) yes; (2) you shouldn’t have 20 direct reports.  

Managing Humans: 2nd Edition

I just got my copy of this today.

Actually, I bought two copies: a personal copy and one to share at work. The back cover is a refreshing change of pace:

Your traditional management book is based on the idea that there is a science behind management. It suggests means of reducing managers and management activities to a pleasant set of rules that, if followed, will result in organizational happiness.

This is not that book.

I know this is mostly a reprint of Rands in Repose, but I get so much knowledge and joy out of Rands In Repose that I welcome having it in book form.

The Rands Test: Status Reports

Michael Lopp’s test on measuring how well teams work together.

On status reports:

My belief is that email-based status reports are one of the clearest and best signs of managerial incompetence and laziness. There are always compelling reasons why you need to generate these weekly emails. We’re big enough that we need to cross-pollinate. It’s just 15 minutes of your time.

Bullshit. The presence of rigid, email-based status reports comes down to control, a lack of imagination, and a lack of trust in the organization.