Robert T. Yokl, President/CEO, SVAH Solutions
It is often mentioned in the media that the Covid-19 pandemic will change many practices forever. I tend to agree with them, especially when it comes to virtual value analysis team meetings. This is because they take less time, reduce travel, and improve attendance. With this said, here are five best practices for engagement in virtual value analysis meetings.
1. Create with your VA team your rules of virtual meetings: We all realize that virtual meetings are different from physical meetings. That’s why for best results you need a set of rules to guide your meetings. For example, don’t multi-task (do other work) during the meeting, find a quiet space to participate, speak up to get attention if you have something to say, etc. These can easily be created in 20 minutes at your first virtual VA team meeting.
2. If you want better engagement, identify different people to assume different management roles at your VA meetings: For instance, Facilitator, Notetaker, Technical Support, and Timekeeper. These individuals can be of great assistance regarding meeting management, discussion flow, and engagement.
3. Send meeting agenda with attachments prior to the virtual VA meeting: This step might seem obvious to you, but too often forgotten during a busy day or week.
4. Create a line for participants to follow: Establish a method for call-in participants to speak so they don’t talk over each other. This might include calling on individuals by alphabetical order or using the order of entrance to the meeting.
5. Evaluate and continuously improve your virtual VA meetings: Your virtual VA meetings will get better over time if you allocate 5 to 10 minutes at the end of your meeting to evaluate what went right, what went wrong, and how to improve.
Virtual VA meetings are here to stay after the pandemic has dissipated. Take advantage of the lessons learned during this period to strengthen your value analysis program with virtual VA meetings. Believe it or not, they could be even more effective, efficient, and productive than your physical VA meetings are now.
(Source: Beth Kanter, October 2017)