Fast and easy: Schedule Recurring Meetings in Lucid

March 30, 2016 at 3:25 AM by Elise Keith in release announcement

Cadence. Pulse. Rhythm. Flow.

Teams that work well together get into a groove. They create agreements about how they’ll communicate, and they meet regularly. Whether it’s a daily huddle, a bi-weekly check-in, or a monthly committee meeting, most groups working together establish a regular, repeating meeting time. The regular meeting is a key tool in achieving the organizational discipline required to perform at a high level.

Lucid Meetings now supports the ability to schedule these repeating meetings using your favorite meeting template, making this the fastest and easiest way to get your team’s regular meetings set up.

For the longest time, we resisted creating a way for people to schedule a whole bunch of regular meetings at once. This was a well-meaning but wrong-headed mistake, because the new repeating meeting feature is crazy useful. (Largely my fault. I’m sorry.)

How it Works:
Scheduling a Series of Regular Meetings in Lucid

The new feature works pretty much exactly like you’d expect it to, and looks very similar to what you’re used to seeing when you add a meeting series on your calendar.

To set up a series of regular meetings:

  1. Find the meeting room you want to use.
  2. Select a template and click “Schedule Meeting”.
  3. Set the date and time of the first meeting, then click the “Repeat” checkbox to see the series options. You can set a meeting to repeat every day, several days each week, on the same day each month, and so on - all the usual patterns that a working team might want.
  4. Add people to your meeting and send out invitations. Done!
Screenshot showing the form for setting up a weekly repeating meeting
Screenshot: Scheduling a weekly team meeting

And with that, you’ve set up a regular meeting cadence with a default agenda, blocked out the time on the calendar, and reserved your meeting technology.

What about the agenda?

Every meeting should cover new information, tackle new issues, and generate new results. So how does this work if the agenda for every meeting is literally the same?

We tackled this challenge by ensuring each meeting’s agenda could evolve independently from all the others. We use the template selected for the series to create the starting agenda, which you can then update with the details and topics that matter for each separate meeting.

For example, I attend three regular meetings each week. These are now all on my calendar for the next 3 months, with simple draft agendas in place for each. Before every meeting, I update that day’s agenda with any reports or issues we need to cover that day. If we need to add or remove agenda items for a specific meeting, we can do that without impacting any of the other meetings in the series.

We can even add guests to just one of our meetings. They get an invite to a single meeting, and never see that it’s part of an ongoing series of meetings.

It’s pretty sweet.

Tips for Setting Up Regular Meetings that Work

Now that you can set up repeating meetings in Lucid, we can attest that it’s very fast and easy to fill your calendar with loads of calls. Before you unleash that glory on your teams, here are some tips.

1. Find or create a template you can stick with for awhile.

The Lucid gallery includes several templates for regular team meetings, which you can use for your meeting or copy into a new template and adjust to fit your team. You can also create a template from a meeting you’ve run in the past.

However you go about selecting a template, it’s worth spending a bit of extra time reviewing it before you create your meeting. Perhaps run a meeting or two with that template before you set up your series.

Then, the template you select will be used to pre-fill all the meetings in your series from there out. If it’s not quite right, you’ll find yourself editing that same issue on every meeting individually – not the best use of your time. And while you can re-set the template for a meeting series, doing so re-sets all future meetings to the new template. A great feature if you’re changing out your process wholesale, but maybe more dramatic than you’d like for a small change. Best to get those small changes made up front.

2. Protect big blocks of focus time.

When picking a time for your meeting, consider everyone’s schedule. For any new recurring meeting, you’ll want to pick a regular time that works across time zones, and that ensures everyone has several un-interrupted hours every day for other work.

First thing in the morning, or shortly after the lunch break work well for many teams.

3. Plan to re-commit.

Despite best intentions, it’s very easy for a regular meeting to lose vitality. Over time, a team’s work dynamic changes, and what used to be helpful becomes stale.

To avoid this, plan a date when you’ll review your meeting as a team. Then, only schedule your regular meetings up to that date - no farther.

On the review date, decide as a group:

  • Does the time of day still work?
  • Are you meeting often enough? Too often?
  • Is the process still engaging and useful? Or should you try a different agenda?

We like to look at our processes every 20 meetings or so. For daily meetings, like a stand-up or daily Scrum, this means we’re confirming our commitment to that meeting at least once a month. For weekly meetings, we reconfirm this commitment once per quarter - so at least once every 90 days.

This approach balances the efficiency of having a process we "just follow" with the need to make sure we’re constantly learning, adapting, and collaborating effectively.

Feedback eagerly anticipated

This is literally our number one most requested feature, so I have no doubt that many of you will try it out soon. When you do, please let us know how it goes.

Now, go get your meeting groove on!


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