The most common and most egregious mistake that the various process-improvement team leaders make is not hav¬ing a meeting agenda. The agenda must be published before the meeting and distributed to team members. Team members need to anticipate what to expect in the meeting and what the intended results are—by this, I mean the deliverables. Minutes of each meeting must be taken and published before the next meeting. Minutes must be approved and/or corrected at each subsequent meeting. Always try to have a facilitator and a per¬son taking minutes.
Maximize the visibility in the meeting; make sure all pro¬cess maps are visible to everyone. Insist that team members get at least introductory training in the methodology. Trying to train team members on process-improvement tools at the same time that you’re trying to improve the process is very difficult. If meetings last more than two hours, the leader is not organized, and the members won’t be able to function very well.
Always set a goal of finishing at least two deliverables or mile¬stones for each meeting, and push to have them get completed. End the meeting with asking the members what went right and what went wrong.
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