Here are seven reasons not to have a meeting:
1. A key member can’t make it. Rescheduling is a pain, but it’s worse to bring everyone together and not be able to do the work planned. If you need a key member’s input, reschedule.
2. The agenda hasn’t been distributed far enough in advance. People need time to prepare for the meeting, make suggestions and changes to the agenda, and get a sense of how much time each item will and ought to be allotted. They should receive the agenda at least 3 days in advance.
3. The purpose of the meeting isn’t clear. When meetings are simply informational, participants feel and resent their time being wasted. Make it clear what is to be accomplished, why, how, and when.
4. The work could be done quicker or better in another format (e.g. e-mail or phone). Don’t hold a meeting unless that’s the only and best way to get the work done.
5. Reading materials haven’t been distributed beforehand. Reading should be done on each individual’s time, not group time.
6. The only available meeting space won’t accommodate the group’s technological needs. If material can’t be presented convincingly or in its truest form, hold off until it can.
7. A recent event or finding has rendered the meeting’s purpose/discussion moot.