How We Conduct Weekly Review and Planning Meetings Across My Teams

February 16, 2018


Across the startups I run, one thing we usually do as a team in each of my startups is to have weekly review meetings at the close of the week.During the meetings, we review everybody’s tasks for the week, look at what we are able to achieve compared to what we planned to achieve, find out what went right and what didn’t go right, iron out any issues which came up during the course of the week and plan for the next week.And we do all of these in one hour.I adopted this practice from Scrum, the agile development methodology we use in my software development team and modified it for use across all my other startups.Our meetings consist of 3 parts.

The Review Meeting

In the review meeting, everybody in the team takes turns to answers the following three questions.

  • What of your tasks were you able to do?
  • Which of your tasks weren’t you able to do?
  • What limitations and problems did you face this week?

After everyone is done answering, other members of the team can ask specific questions and get clarification.

The Retrospective Meeting

This is where we look at what we were able to achieve overall as a team in light of our goals or targets for the week. We try to figure out what went wrong and what went right. What we could have done better and what lessons we can learn from this week to carry into the next week.We also resolve any issues we had as an organization as well as personal issues among team members.

The Planning Meeting

This is where we plan the activities for the coming week. Basically, we look at our goals for the coming week (which is a subset of our goals for the month) and break down the goals into smaller tasks and other actionable items. We then assign each task to a team member based on their role and have everything nicely recorded in Trello, the software we use for task management.When everybody is okay with the tasks they have been assigned for the week, we end the meeting. Our meetings usually end in high spirits and everyone is happy.trello Here is an example of Trello being used to organize tasks into different phases called “lists”

Why We Like Our System

Our method of conducting reviews and planning for the new week has several advantages we love.Firstly, it creates a good feedback system because everyone is accountable to the whole team. Being able to share problems and issues we faced during the week helps us to learn from one another’s mistakes and avoid them in the coming week.Secondly, because we insist that all personal problems be resolved during the meeting, we are more united as a team, with no one holding grudges against another person.Thirdly, because our meetings are brief (just one hour), they are effective and everyone is able to stay concentrated during the entire time without getting bored or tempted to play with their phones. No one likes long meetings anyway.Lastly, we ensure that we ensure that the 3 C’s of decision making feature prominently. They are

  • Conflict: We cultivate conflict by encouraging people to speak their minds even if it means challenging the leader’s opinion or the team’s consensus
  • Consideration: We listen to and consider everyone’s suggestions. By doing this, everyone feels like they had a part to play in whatever decisions we make.
  • Closure: All our meetings end with us having reached an amicable conclusion on what needs to be done for the next week. Everybody leaves the meeting feeling they have been in a productive meeting.

In conclusion, if you run a team, figure out a method which works for you and go by it. If you like our method you are free to adopt and modify it to suit your team.Cheers.

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