Time management is a challenge in any meeting, but it can be even more difficult in synchronous virtual meetings because we tend not to take into consideration how technology affects the interaction.
Technology can impact communication directly and indirectly. Direct impact includes:
Technology can impact communication indirectly in the following ways:
A prudent facilitator will plan extra time for these issues. Ten to fifteen minutes is normally enough to adequately compensate for this. Additionally, the facilitator should have a backup plan in case any component of the technology fails. Backups may include:
When planning a meeting,
Delegating a person to be the timekeeper serves multiple purposes, as follows:
If you know that one of your staff members tends to use a lot of time, he or she may be a good candidate for the timekeeper role.
If something comes up in the meeting that is not on the agenda, but is worthy of addressing, put it in the "parking lot." The parking lot is a list of future agenda items.
By writing the issue down, a time can be planned to address the issue. If the current meeting's topics are covered before the planned ending time, parking lot items can be addressed during the meeting.