Meetings are generally not good in startups. This is not because meetings are inherently bad, but the organization processes around meetings are not mature. There are usually a few people who are “good” at meetings and improve their effectiveness and a general low bar for meeting quality. Fortunately instead of using coarse-grained levels like “mature” and “not mature”, there is a framework called the Capability Maturity Model to help us.
The Capability Maturity Model is a tool to guide process improvement, with levels for assessment for how you are doing and what to work on next. What I did not know originally is the CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) is the successor to the CMI (Capability Maturity Model), I will be using the acronyms interchangeably but referring to the newer Capability Maturity Model Integration.
For meeting hygiene, you might be able to see yourself in these levels:
Level 1 - Initial
- The process is ad-hoc and reactive
- Unpredictable quality and do not meet specific objectives
Level 2 - Managed
- Processes are planned, documented, monitored at the project level, and usually reactive
- Some consistent results and processes are evaluated to requirements
Level 3 - Defined
- Processes and standards are well defined and understood at the organizational level, proactively deployed across the entire organization, and improved over time
- Project level or local tailoring is allowed within limits of the organizational set of standards
Level 4 - Quantitatively Managed
- Quantitative and statistical techniques are used to improve processes
Level 5 - Optimizing
- Process management includes deliberate process optimizations
Levels 1 and 2 depend on individual heroics, if a person leaves the process falls apart.