Data Engineering/Meeting norms

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These are agreements and guidelines on how we conduct meetings.

Before meetings

  1. Set working hours in Google Calendar
  2. Keep your calendar up to date with your availability
  3. It is highly recommended that you activate reminders 10/5/1 minutes ahead of the meeting
  4. Be mindful of time zones when scheduling meetings
  5. For every meeting, confirm attendance on Google Calendar. If you have a last minute setback, let the team know you won’t attend on Google Calendar
  6. When organizing a meeting, mark guests that are optional and the ones that are mandatory.
  7. Write in the description the meeting objectives and share the agenda
  8. Attach a notes document to the meeting when appropriate. Store it in the team meeting notes folder. Create subfolders as needed.
  9. Make sure all the documents you will share are accessible to all participants
  10. Communicate who is the meeting host/driver/facilitator
  11. If you are not able to make the meeting where your presence is needed rather than reschedule, consider providing your input ahead of the meeting with questions, considerations and then following up afterward
  12. If you are not able to make the meeting, when applicable, consider sending a delegate
  13. Slack Huddle is an acceptable alternative to Google Meet especially for impromptu work sessions

During meetings

  1. Show respect for people’s time
  2. Join on time. Meetings will start at :03’ and end at (end - 5)
  3. Consider if the meeting should  be recorded and be shared with others who are not in attendance
  4. Communicate:
    1. Meeting objectives
    2. The agenda and time allotted to each agenda item
    3. Who will be in charge of taking notes
    4. Clear actions, owners, and timelines at the end of each meeting
  5. If you feel like you are not fully needed, don’t attend the meeting. Avoid multitasking
  6. Don’t be afraid to speak about uncomfortable topics.
  7. Take notes to record important points and share with others who were not able to attend meeting
  8. Assign action items to the right parties in the google document
  9. Consider various community perspectives
  10. Help maximize inclusion
    1. Use simple, accessible language
    2. When you speak, just make 1 point
    3. Leave room for everyone to speak; each person should speak “1/n th” of the time
    4. Actively solicit input from those who had not had an opportunity to speak
  11. When speaking, be mindful of the audience and make sure you provide sufficient context and err on the side of over-explaining. Ask the meeting participants if they have enough context.
  12. If you do not understand something in the meeting that is preventing you from following the conversation, ask the question then and there or post your question in chat. The speaker should make the best attempt to provide a response. If there are meeting time constraints to provide the full information, follow up after the meeting with additional information.
  13. For chat norms see Suggestions for parallel chat in meetings. Additionally:
    1. Copy links shared and important points to the notes document
    2. Avoid parallel conversations that take focus from the main conversation and topic discussed
  14. Raise a hand when you wish to take turns to talk. If a person is talking at the time, they should finish their thought before handing it back to the facilitator or calling on the next person in the queue.
    1. If you have something you want to respond to directly or urgently use “o//” in the chat.
  15. The facilitator should keep track of time.
    1. Ensure that we are progressing through the agenda topics in a timely way.Provide appropriate 5/2/1 minute time checks to keep the conversation on track and in line with the agenda.
    2. If more time is needed to discuss something, explicitly agree to drop things from the agenda and how to follow up on the remaining items.  
    3. Leave at least 5 minutes at the end to summarize important take-aways and discuss next steps
  16. If you are taking notes but are not able to follow the gist of the conversation given the unfamiliarity with the technical area or domain, ask one of the team members to take over to provide the accurate context/terminology/acronyms
  17. Everyone in the meeting, and especially the facilitator and host, should feel free to call out when the meeting is going off topic, and suggest that the topic be parked if it is not directly contributing to the discussion.

After the meeting

  1. Share the notes document others who were not able to attend meeting
  2. When appropriate communicate any relevant meeting take-aways to the team in Slack and solicit asynchronous feedback where needed