Aha Handbook

Protocol for Meetings

Best way to run meetings effectively.

1. Only have meetings when necessary

  • No including daily standups, scheduled weekly’s, and quick updates

2. Have something for people to react to

  • Come prepared with a position — always come with a recommendation / proposal /suggestion, a doc/slide, etc.

3. Time box meetings

  • Default 15 or 25 minutes

4. Have an organized agenda for every meeting

  • All meeting invites should contain the following information:
    • Goal/Objective – Outline what we hope to get out of the meeting 

    • Context – Provide meeting background and purpose 

    • Ask of the Audience – What action is required of attendees in preparation before 
the meeting 

    • Expected Conclusion – Define the result/next-step/success 

    • Communication Method Details – Provide logistics on setting up the meeting/call 

    • To maximize efficiency, please put your laptop screens down unless you are 
taking notes. If taking notes, proactively let people know

5. No spectators

  • Consider who is invited: “who really needs to be there?”

6. Start on time, end on time

  • Arrive early to get the admin pieces in pace before starting 

  • Don’t wait too long for stragglers; it’s their responsibility to catch up
  • Stick to your schedule. If you notice one person monopolizing the conversation, call 
him/her out. Say, “We appreciate your contributions, but now we need input from 
others before making a decision.” 

7. Encourage participations by asking participants questions

8. State the meeting purpose/goal up front

  • This is the first agenda item: review the agenda and expectations

9. Assign tasks to people

10. Put your screens down during meetings

  • Don’t bring computers/phones unless taking notes

11. CC Management on all important meetings

12. Recap

  • This is the last agenda item: formally close the meeting with a recap of specific next steps to confirm mutual expectations

13. Follow up

  • Email a memo highlighting what was accomplished and next steps to all who attended within 24 hours after the meeting

14. Have fun

  • Meetings are where you can have interaction with people and solve problems creatively and collaboratively