The 4 Ps of an Effective Meeting
What are the 4 Ps of an Effective Meeting?
We all know that meetings are an important part of business, but sometimes they can feel like a waste of time. The last thing a business wants to do is hold an unproductive meeting that causes employees to miss out on time they could be doing better work. Fortunately, there are ways to make your meeting better and maximize productivity.
To make sure your meetings are effective, it helps to remember the four Ps — purpose, product, people and process. With these four Ps in mind, you can get more out of your meetings. In this blog, we’ll talk about these four Ps and how you can apply them in your workplace.
The very first thing you should do when setting up a meeting is to ask if the meeting has a clear purpose. Ask yourself if the meeting is necessary and what the goal of the meeting is. With a clear purpose in mind, you can work toward actionable outcomes and keep the meeting on track.
Outlining the purpose of the meeting ahead of time will also give others time to prepare. Team members can come up with their ideas and their thoughts related to the meeting's purpose without going off to tangential topics that waste time or that would be better saved for their own meeting.
When defining your purpose, make sure you’re as concise as possible. Make sure everyone attending understands what role they play in the meeting and what plan you hope to have by the meeting's end.
For instance, the purpose of a meeting could be to brainstorm a marketing campaign for a new product.
To recap, setting expectations and defining the purpose of the meeting should be your first step.
The purpose of the meeting directly leads to the next P — the product. The meeting should have a clear and actionable product by its end. In other words, a meeting should produce results.
So, how do you go about setting this particular expectation? The best way to go about it would be to establish an end goal for a meeting. These goals should be measurable. When you don’t have clear, measurable goals set out from the beginning, it can be difficult to make the meeting go in a productive direction.
To produce the product, or goal, of the meeting, you also need to consider what resources and data may be necessary. This will ensure everyone brings everything needed for the meeting and knows what needs to be accomplished by the end of it.
So, let’s add a product to our previous example of a brainstorming meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to brainstorm new marketing campaigns. An example of a Product for that meeting would be choosing which marketing channels the campaign will use and when the campaigns can start running.
Now you have a clear purpose and a clear objective you want to get out of the meeting.
Of course, one of the most important components of any meeting is the people who will be attending. You want to make sure everyone you invite to a scheduled meeting will be attending for good reason. Each member of the meeting should have roles and responsibilities relevant to the purpose of the meeting. It’s also important that the people who are there can contribute and add to the meeting.
The last thing you want to do is schedule a meeting with a bunch of people who don’t need to be there. It can waste their time and lead to an ineffective meeting. It can also be helpful to identify which people will be leading different parts of the meeting so you know when people will be talking, and so those people know what they need to prepare to be ready to contribute.
You should also foster a respectful and collaborative environment in your meetings. This means people are free to voice their opinions, but they should also be respectful when someone is talking and not try to interrupt or talk over them.
Having the right people can be the difference between a highly effective meeting and a waste. In our example, you would want to invite only team members involved with marketing or anyone who has a stake in a marketing campaign — like a sales rep or product development team member. It would be a waste of an employee’s time if you schedule an HR member to come to that marketing meeting, for instance, unless the product campaign covered sensitive or controversial topics for some reason.
Now you have your purpose, product and people — the final step is the process.
A process is similar to a meeting agenda. Your meeting process should outline how your meeting is structured and how it is run. Having a good process in place can make sure the meeting moves along at a good pace and maximizes the time you have. Here are some tips for improving your meeting process:
- Set your agenda and send it out ahead of time
- Define roles and people who will be speaking in the meeting
- Establish ground rules for your meetings
- Take breaks if meetings are longer
- Keep track of time and avoid going off-topic
- Close the meeting with a recap of your discussion and the next steps
- Send a follow-up with notes and the next steps to everyone in attendance after the meeting is over.
A clear process is invaluable. This will make sure everyone stays on track and that your meeting is productive. By sticking to these four Ps, you can have an effective meeting every time.
Why Do They Matter?
The 4 Ps of an effective meeting — purpose, product, people and process — matter for numerous reasons. The main reasons these tenets matter include:
- They keep meetings productive — Without the four Ps, your meeting can quickly go off the rails.
- They lead to outcomes — Productive meetings can lead to positive outcomes and a better business.
- They don’t waste time — No one likes going to a meeting that could have been an email.
- They shift the attitude around meetings — When team members see how collaborative and effective meetings can be, they’ll be more willing participants and come up with better ideas.
Productivity should always be a top priority for businesses. With the four Ps in place, your meetings can be productive and make your team members happier.
More Workplace Tips To Run Successful Team Meetings
For a quick recap, here are some additional tips to ensure that your team meetings run smoothly and effectively:
- Set an Agenda — Your agenda is your game plan for the meeting. Without an agenda, there’s no guidance for team members, and you may have unproductive, ineffective meetings.
- Take breaks — If you have a long meeting or multiple meetings, make sure employees have a break to converse, stretch their legs and give their brains a rest.
- Utilize technology — Numerous software platforms can help you organize your meetings, keep people on track and collaborate. This software can also make it easier to have meetings with remote workers.
- Follow-up — Always remember to send a follow-up, so people know what they need to do next.
By following these tips, you can make sure that your team meetings are productive, engaging and effective. With a bit of planning and organization, your team will be ready to tackle any challenge.
Get Started with Eden Today!
As mentioned, all businesses can benefit from tools that help them be more productive. Eden is the ultimate workplace management software for businesses. Eden offers tools for HR and People Ops managers, IT managers, office managers and more. With Eden, you can easily make sure your teams have space to meet and collaborate with our room scheduling feature. Interested in seeing everything Eden can do? Schedule a demo today to find out!