Make effective meetings

Have you asked yourself « why am I in this meeting? » Or « what this meeting for? »

If so, Al Pittampalli ( created a framework that will help you to be more effective in organizing meetings.

His concept is to treat different decisions differently (DDD) as summarized in table below.

  • First question to ask yourself is « How consequential is this decision I want? ».
  • If none, you don’t even need a meeting.
  • Then based on Low or High consequential of that decision, Al propose us to put in perspective 4 areas to understand really what’s important.
Consequential No Low High
Priority N/A Speed of the decision Accuracy of the decision
Function of the meeting N/A Coordination
of activities
ConflictBecause debate lead to better decisions
Goal N/A Buy-in
give me your concerns
open mind
Deliver of the meeting (output) N/A Action Plan
with commitment
Final decision
don’t care yet about the coordination yet

The full video is there:

And if you want more food for thoughts on meetings, here is his website

On this same area, I recently found a complementary decision graph.

Last let me share a one pager of key things about meetings if you really need it:



The Phoenix Project

Let me present this great novel on IT from Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford:

Bill is an IT manager at Parts Unlimited. It’s Tuesday morning and on his drive into the office, Bill gets a call from the CEO.

The company’s new IT initiative, code named Phoenix Project, is critical to the future of Parts Unlimited, but the project is massively over budget and very late. The CEO wants Bill to report directly to him and fix the mess in ninety days or else Bill’s entire department will be outsourced.

With the help of a prospective board member and his mysterious philosophy of The Three Ways, Bill starts to see that IT work has more in common with manufacturing plant work than he ever imagined. With the clock ticking, Bill must organize work flow streamline interdepartmental communications, and effectively serve the other business functions at Parts Unlimited.

In a fast-paced and entertaining style, three luminaries of the DevOps movement deliver a story that anyone who works in IT will recognize. Readers will not only learn how to improve their own IT organizations, they’ll never view IT the same way again.

Here are some key highlights I found so far:

  • P81 – definition of change: any activity that is physical, logical, or virtual to applications, databases, operating systems, networks, or harware that could impact services being delivered.
  • P89 – concept of the work in progress defined as the silent killer. p113 – too many WIP for Brent. It reminds me the Agile concept around limiting that WIP, which I am starting to do since beg of this year thru the usage of a personal Kanban.
  • P91 – IT Operations roles and the 3 ways
  • P100-102 – objective and scope of the CAB

When China lights my Christmas Tree

As a global customer we often forget from where ordered products come from. For this Christmas time, while not happy with the delivery time of an Amazon order, I was positively surprised with level of emphasis of that Customer Service Rep. This post of for Eva.

So let’s come back on what’s happened.

As Christmas is coming, it was time to make my Christmas Tree. And the joy of my kids would be less without lights. So as a connected and lazy father I used my favorite Amazon App to get me one set of fairy lights, click submit and …. what a shame just saw the expected delivery date from Dec 23rd to Jan 10th while the product was « in Stock ».

2 options: cancel the order or send an email to the vendor.

I decided to ask the vendor (in French) if they can improve the accuracy of that estimated delivery date.


Pourriez vous m’indiquer si l’estimation de livraison peut être affinee?


Now the next day just got a nice, professional and so fun answer from « Eva » (from China – Honk-Kong) who deserves this post today. Happy customer I didn’t cancelled my order who was shipped the same day of her answer but I bought a new set of fairy lights for this year (to make my kids happy) and will use that Amazon one next year:-)

merci pour votre e-mail!
proche le noel, je sais que vous avez besoin les décorations de Noël. et aussi comprendre vos sentiments, parce que j’achete aussi quelque chose sur internet. je voudrais bien que vous pouvez recevoir le colis soon, mais expedie par la chine de hongkong, sans surprise 10-25 jour de travail, vous pouvez le recevoir.
amazon donne un delai de livraison est 23 déc. 14 à 10 janv. 15, donc avant le noel, c’est possible. mais je ne suis pas tres sure pour ca!
s’il vous plait attendre avec patience! si vous avez des questions, contactez-moi, s’il vous plait!
joyeux noel par avance pour vous!

Happy Christmas Eva!