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Prep Before and Collaboration Between Meetings

JMARK is in the habit of collaborating on agendas ahead of a meeting - usually to solve a problem before a meeting starts. 


Examples could be: 

1) Asking for more or clarifying information in a document or new policy, 

2) Determine which KPIs or issues to discuss, or 

3) Add multiple comments to an agenda item in order to decide ahead of time if it needs discussion. 


They would also like to maintain an issues list between meetings and then use a Smart List in the next meeting to review the ongoing issues.


They are open to different implementation approaches.


Requested by Thomas Douglas of JMARK.


1 person likes this idea

Thanks Tricia - 

Many times we can solve an issue or deal with an approval before the meeting begins. In the meeting prep, each person can see the agenda items and review, ask questions, make comments, and even approve a policy before the meeting begins. This allows us to make the most of the meeting time and even shorten some of the meetings if we get through all of the agenda items. 

We've discussed this request and similar requests we've heard in the past. We like to break our development into small, achievable pieces that we can release as they become available. Here's what we're currently thinking on this one. Feedback from everyone very welcome.


Overall Goal: To improve support for pre-meeting collaboration.


The list of possible features that come from this could encompass the feature sets of many full-on collaboration suites. This is an area where I think we'll never be done and always improving. Near-term, we're thinking of tackling these next steps.


1. Make it possible to add Issues, Decisions, etc outside of meetings.

We already have features for adding action items outside of meetings, and the Lucid data model supports adding these other types of notes. This is likely to be the first update released in support of better pre-meeting collab. We don't promise delivery dates outside of a development contract, but with that said, this one should come out fairly soon.


Adding these features will make it possible to maintain an Issues List (as requested) outside of and between meetings.


2. Develop a centralized notifications or messaging system. 

Right now, we send email invitations and reminders about upcoming meetings, but we don't notify people when the agenda for an upcoming meeting changes (for example). This update would add a centralized notifications feature that would collect all the updates and alerts for each person, and give them a way to decide how they want to be notified about changes. 

Lucid already supports a way for teams to collaborate on the agenda before a meeting, but we don't have any way for people to know when that happens.  The addition of a notification center will make it easier to see when your team members add to or modify the agenda for an upcoming meeting.


For everyone who's asked for more notification about action items, this will create a centralized place to see those updates too.


3. Support the ability to add a comment on an agenda item (and other things? action items?).

This would be totally new functionality. How it might work:

  • You're looking at the agenda for a meeting. You see something that you think should change, but you don't want to edit the agenda directly, so you click to "Add a comment" and type that in.
  • The people invited to the meeting can see all the comments when they view the meeting, and add their own comments in reply.

For any of you who use Dropbox comments, we were thinking these might behave something like those do. (If you haven't seen those, feel free to comment on this document.)

Any comments that come in would also create notifications out to everyone who has elected to receive them. By default, we'd opt people in to receiving notifications for comments about meetings where they're a facilitator.


4. Improve the agenda editing experience.

We've got big plans for this already. Big enough that they're hard to schedule because it's so much work! I won't go into detail here, but want to mention it as it may make sense to tackle comments AFTER this project, as the updates to the agenda-editing interface are likely to have a significant impact on where comments would show up in the interface.


Lucid folks, other comments or ideas since our discussion that you'd like to share and get input on? 

Everyone else, ideas, questions, or feedback? 


Looking forward to building more excellence into the platform soon!

Elise


 


Elise - 

I think they way you have it broken up is a great way to tackle all the enhancements. We are obviously biased around #3 as we believe that is a major efficiency gain in pre/realtime meeting performance. 

I guess the only comment I would make would be in the lines of security. I'm sure you are quite focused on this already, but worth noting that the comments are just as sensitive as the agenda, so being sure the security supports that structure is critical. Especially as you may add a guest to a meeting and want to limit their ability to have vision into that topic in prior meetings, etc. I haven't explored that side yet, so I may be preaching to the choir. 

I know you don't commit to development cycles (which I appreciate), but would like some sort of a guide. Are we talking by the end of 2018, Q1of 2019, much longer...? Just need to know for our planning purposes. Thanks so much for your work! Look forward to learning more. 

Oh - the Dropbox comments are exactly what I was thinking. Great way to express the spirit of the objective! 

Hi Thomas,


On the timeline, I'd anticipate the first two items to be ready before the end of the year. Comments and the agenda work will get our attention soon, but we don't yet have estimates for how long those will take to complete. 


We're highly motivated to begin work on those bigger changes, as that will unlock a whole bunch of cool work we're excited to dive into. If I had to guess, I'd anticipate the design work in December/January, after which we should have ideas to share and a better sense of the timeline. 


I'd like to hear more about your security question. First, in case you hadn't seen this before, here's a guide to how the different roles within Lucid work.

http://support.lucidmeetings.com/support/solutions/articles/16000013446-roles-and-permissions-who-can-do-what-in-lucid


Right now, if a guest is invited to a meeting, they can see the full agenda for that meeting. What type of meetings are you thinking about for these features? In our own business, I can see times when I'd very much want my meeting guests to comment on the agenda, and others when I'd love to keep that discussion private to our internal team as we work to prepare an awesome meeting for our guests. Frankly, I can also see times when we wouldn't want any comments. This suggests the need for a new setting with this feature that let's people decide how comments will work for a given meeting.


I've made a lot of assumptions there, though. Can you share a bit more about the scenario you need to support? Stories are so helpful!



Hey Elise, 


It might be worth us jumping on a call. Security can be quite a bear to deal with, and having the ability to open a guest to specific topics (agenda items) or all, I believe is important, plus the ability to provide and receive comments. It's not unusual for a guest/consultant/sales pro to be a part of a topic in a meeting, but not be a part of other conversations. I believe the agenda item based security would be most beneficial. 


I wouldn't mind to to hop on the call and discuss the entire featureset and roadmap in more detail.  

Sounds like a great idea. I'll connect by email and we can find a time.

I think these are all great ideas and great enhancements.  Your #1 item is akin to something we are looking for - which is a Parking Lot for future agenda items (usually for a recurring meeting series).  To really be useful, would also like the functionality to move a current agenda item to the Parking Lot (because it didn't get discussed as planned during the current meeting).


Then, when building a meeting agenda we would access the Parking Lot for that meeting series and be able to move things from the Parking Lot to the Agenda as it is being built.


For sure, #4 is needed - glad that is in the works.


#3 I think is a great idea and needed as well.  


#2 I get it - but I think for me that would be the lowest priority item from the 4 presented on this list.


All good stuff for sure!!!

Thanks for the feedback, Jeff! Your description of how you'd like to use a Parking Lot makes sense, and I appreciate the extra input on priorities.


In our meetings, we use a slightly different approach to structuring meetings that gives us the benefit you're seeking (the ability to carry forward a list of topics from meeting to meeting until they're addressed) but that doesn't require any changes to the actual agenda each week. It makes both the technical and the administrative parts of managing our meetings easier, because we rarely need to futz with the agenda.


Here's the structure we use.


1. Welcome

2. Review and Update Topics

3. Discuss Priorities

4. Review and Close


During that second agenda item, we have a Smart List set up that shows all the notes tagged Parking Lot in our meeting room. During the meeting, we take 5 minutes to review that list, add anything new we feel needs to be on the list, then agree which items are the top priorities for discussion given the time available. 


We add a tag to mark those notes as Priority, then go to agenda item 3. There, we have a Smart List that just shows topics marked priority. We discuss them and take our notes. Sometimes, if they're big enough, we just update the agenda during the meeting to give each one its own agenda item, but this isn't always necessary.


Once we've discussed an item, we remove both the "priority" and "parking lot" tags so it won't show up on the list again in the future.  


In our case, we meet often enough that we don't need to add items to the list in between meetings. That said, feature #1 above would make it possible for us to do so by adding "Parking Lot" items between meetings.


I know that's not exactly what you have in mind, but it could be an approach worth trying with your group. For context, this is one way to use a simple real-time agenda technique using Lucid. 



Elise - granted, it is a couple hours earlier there - but I can see you are on the same work/sleep schedule as I am (seems to be a theme with your team).


That is a very interesting idea - I will think about giving that a try.  My head is too mushy at this point to really take that in - but seems like it could be a good system.


Also, I think you gave me an idea on how to overcome a hurdle that I thought we had (that Tricia is off working on for us).  We want to have a SmartList showing us all Open Actions from a recurring meeting series - but it didn't seem to have that right now.


It seems like a workaround could be making a separate meeting room for each recurring meeting - and then we can use the SmartList to show all actions from that room.  A little bit of extra maintenance and duplication on Room Setup - but seems like a small price to pay to get a much-needed functionality for us.


At this point, I have sort of hijacked this thread with that thought - but any problem you see with my workaround for that?


Thanks - Jeff

Hi Jeff - Elise and I were able to discuss this earlier, and there are a few different approaches you can take here (separate rooms being one of them) so I'll send that info to you via email. 


As for the agenda structure Elise mentioned, I have a template set up for this and can show it to you in a quick call - it will make more sense when you're in the meeting. 


Thanks for reading through the thread and giving feedback!

-Tricia

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