Define, design & build features

Mammoth Meetings

We invite the entire organisation to join us for a one hour decision making meeting. We call it a Mammoth Meeting. This happens after we have processed all the feedback from the comments in Figma.

In this meeting people have the opportunity to raise any final items for discussion. We do an in-person meeting combined with a video call for people who are remote.

The practical challenge of a meeting like this is the high time cost. We are usually covering substantial ground with a large group.

We make this as time efficient as possible using a decision making framework.

It is more effective when the product person leading the solution doesn't run the meeting. Someone else acts as the facilitator, and someone from the team takes notes.

We have a big screen with the solution and Zoom call up on it, and we make notes on screen as we go.

The decision making framework

Ask everyone to list the items they want to discuss. At this point only note the item down without discussing anything in detail.

Work through each discussion item one at a time.

Step 1: Listen to the person who raised the item. Allow them to explain their concern and explore possible options. Other people can take part too. Avoid going into too much detail.

Step 2: Select two options. Avoid lobbying for one approach over the other. The idea is to identify what the best options are quickly.

Step 3: Go to an early vote. By show of hands count the votes for each option.

Step 4: Listen to the minority. For the option with the least votes, ask those who voted to explain why they favour this option. It's important to listen to the minority first.

Step 5: Listen to the majority. For the option with the most votes, do the same.

Step 6: Revote. Once everyone has had a chance to comment, go to a revote.

Highest votes win. It's as simple as that. Acting as a democracy, accept the vote and move on. If the vote results in a big shift from the original approach it should be validated with a design before finalised. The product folks do this and present an update at the next showcase. They may also lobby for an alternative approach if issues arose.

After you've voted on one item, move onto the next until you've worked your way through all the discussion items. If you get good at this, you can save hours of time. And you can get excellent outcomes by giving everyone a voice.

It took 20 minutes to work through the very first item ever. Two people kept debating over options. After that we got the hang of it and moved through the remaining 8 items at around 2 minutes per item.
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