This page explains the structure of the Status Report, and how to use it to ensure your efforts on meeting improvement are yielding tangible benefits. Read more
The structure of the status report is based on a global Business Excellence model administered by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). Because of the pivotal nature of meetings in organisations, meeting effectiveness has implications for all aspects of Business Excellence, and so the model provides a useful framework to explore the business benefits of your progress.
As a measure of progress in meeting effectiveness, the EFQM framework provides both a way to track the business impact of that effectiveness, and a means to calculate a meaningful index – one number which provides a reliable indicator of the quality of what is being achieved.
The colours of the various sections shown below will change depending on the scores returned for each of these sections. The colours used (red, amber, yellow, lime, green and blue) reflect the colours used in the inspirometer, with blue representing excellence, and the other colours reflecting a relative separation from that.
The Progress Status report can be delivered as a weekly update to managers via email. To switch on (or off) this facility, visit your Account Settings page.
Leadership is a measure of how the managers in a particular area are using data to guide, support and encourage meeting effectiveness in their people.
The top-level figure reflects how much time the manager is spending in looking at the progress of their people on-line.
Awareness tracks whether the manager is set to receive the status report by regular email as a stimulus for attention.
Adoption is a measure of the proportion of the area’s team members that are collecting meeting data via the calendar add-in. Read more
The top-level figure assumes that a figure of 10 minutes each week is a reasonable minimum to spend in:
- reviewing the situation and progress on agreed actions,
- analysing opportunities for recognition and encouragement,
- and identifying timely interventions to support progress.
The figure is calculated by looking at the proportion of weeks where the manager spent at least 10 minutes in reviewing his or her team’s data.
Please note, the awareness figure is not included in the leadership calculation, but provides a useful perspective if non-reporting happens to coincide with weak performance and slow progress.
Where the adoption figure is low (as in the example shown on this page) the rest of the data only reflects a small proportion of the population, and so the overall progress figure is calculated pro-rata based on the adoption figure.
To improve the leadership score, consider planning a regular (albeit short) weekly slot in your calendar to review the data and respond accordingly.
Feedback effort is a measure of the take-up of opportunities to provide feedback by the members of your team.
100% would represent a situation where all of the members of your team provided a minimum of one piece of feedback for each meeting which requested it. Read more
Feedback takes a few seconds to affirm, encourage, praise, or highlight an improvement opportunity, and that this can be done in a single click either during the meeting, or via reminders up to three days later. Therefore, a low score reflects either an issue in buy-in to the meeting effectiveness programme, or an unhealthily low level of priority given to mutual support, encouragement, and process improvement
Both of these things represent a practical barrier to business excellence.
To improve the feedback effort score, plan to take a glance at your Meetings App at the end of each day, and quickly click through any faces you see appear in the Outstanding Feedback Requests panel. Collectively, it also helps to allow two or three minutes at the end of each meeting to allow people to record their feedback and flag-up any highlights.
Goal clarity reflects the extent to which meeting invitations communicate the purpose of the meeting (objective) and, in outline, how that purpose is to be delivered (agenda).
A low score on goal clarity represents that a large proportion of meetings scheduled by your team are missing one or both of these key disciplines. Read more
Lack of objectives and a clear approach is a key factor in business inefficiency and an anathema to business excellence, and yet meetings are frequently scheduled without them.
The Outlook add-in automatically includes place-holders for entering a brief objective and agenda for each meeting, and so it is easy for people to remember to add them in in a form that they can be recognised by the software.
To improve the goal clarity score, ensure that each meeting invite you send out has a clear objective defined within it, and ideally a rough agenda by which it will be delivered (using the format of the template).
Virtual / Async
However, reduced travel and greater availability is only part of the benefit of these meeting developments. The virtual/async figure is a measure of the proportion of meeting time that is held using this environment.
Virtual and Asynchronous technologies also provide benefits in terms of:
- Greater engagement and inclusion
- Broader decision making and buy-in
- Improved idea-generation and innovation
- Faster progress and delivery
- Better teamwork and a supportive culture
- More efficient preparation and recording of actions
To improve the virtual/async score, reflect on the physical meetings you have scheduled, and reconsider whether these can be conducted, at least in part, using virtual meetings. You might also consider reducing the time of physical meetings by using asynchronous methods (such as Yammer or Slack) to undertake pre-work, pre-reading, or progressing/updating actions.
Productivity is a measure of the proportion of calendar time, during the working day, that is available to people for doing productive work on their own – thinking, strategising, reviewing, researching, planning, designing, observing etc.
However, it takes time for people to get into a mode where deeper insights can develop and quality work can be achieved in these areas, and this is only possible if that time isn’t forced into a short slot between one meeting and the next. For that reason we define a Productivity Block as a 90 minute window clear of meetings. Read more
This use of a 90 minute window to define a productivity block allows the user 15 minutes to return from one meeting, assimilate the key points, and plan or enact any immediate actions; then a clear hour for serious engagement with a topic; then a further 15 minutes to prepare and ready themselves for the next meeting.
The top-line figure is the proportion of their calendar that is available in such blocks, and the number below is the average number of such block the user has in their working day.
Anecdotally, we find that when the average daily productivity blocks drops below 1, the user begins to feel very rushed, pressured and a prisoner of their own schedule. Conversely a score above 4 can leave people feeling a bit ‘out of the loop’.
To improve the productivity score, consider reducing or combining meetings, or rearranging them into a tighter patterns so that the free-time between them is better suited to some serious thinking.
Enablers and Results
The above elements reflect ‘enablers’ in the EFQM model – activities which can be effected directly, and which enable improvements in your business results (and meeting effectiveness). The elements below reflect the ‘results’ section of the EFQM model – these are the benefits which arise out of good use of the enablers, and where improvement needs to be effected more indirectly.
The Participation score is the average participation feedback received by your team within meetings.
Participation is a measure of the supportiveness and synergy that exists between people in meetings – the quality of relationships in the business. Read more
If you are using participation feedback in meetings, participants are able to give each other anonymous feedback based on the value of the contributions that they make to progress. For example they can provide a smiley face for a new insight or supportive input, or a frown for lack of preparation, lateness, or politics.
The quality of participation reflects not only the quality of the meetings that are enabling that participation, but also the resulting supportiveness and teamworking arising from the meeting – the very culture of the organisation.
The participation score can be improved by ensuring that the objective is sufficiently clear to engage the right people, and that the agenda makes best use of those people and their ideas. The use of Virtual and Async technology also provides for more creative engagement of people to enhance their participation and contribution. It also helps increase the productivity blocks to make it more likely that people have time to prepare and complete their actions.
External focus is a measure of the extent to which meeting time is being taken up by internal overheads versus exploring external opportunities and new business.
It is not only a measure of how outward facing the organisation is, it is also a measure of the internal efficiency of the organisation. Read more
Internal meetings exist to enable the business to meet the needs of its customers, therefore a high ratio between external meetings and internal meetings is a sign that those meetings are efficient in achieving that. More efficient internal meetings means that they take less time, and free up more time to engage customers in the solutions you have developed.
As we engage in a business context which is increasingly complex and uncertain (VUCA), less of our internal response can be handled within set patterns of well-established processes, and more situations will require collective input around creative solutions. If internal meeting processes fail to improve in line with this demand, we will see this reflected either in a fall in sales, or a growth in internal meetings.
Please note that the figure for whether attendees to your meetings are ‘internal’ or ‘external’ to your organisation are based on the domain element of their email address.
The external focus score is improved simply by becoming more effective in internal collaboration, particular in respect of meta-processes.
Carbon benefit is a measure of the extent to which your meeting programme is incurring travel.
It is calculated as the proportion of meeting time which has no associated travel time (meeting time, less travel time, all divided by meeting time). Read more
While the Carbon Benefit figure is not a true measure of carbon footprint, it is at least indicative of whether meeting travel is going in the right direction.
Carbon benefit can be improved by getting better at virtual and async meetings, and reducing the need for physical meetings which require people to travel.
Value-add is a measure of the perceived value added by your meetings to the work of your colleagues in sustaining the business.
It is calculated as the average value of feedback across all meetings. Where we do not know the perceived value-add of a meeting, either because feedback was not enabled or not given, in the absence of the data we assume the score is zero. Read more
A high value-add score is a clear indication that:
- Meetings fully productive in equipping and supporting people in their efforts to add value to the business and its customers
- That meetings are also effective in making a positive impact on the culture through teamwork, engagement, achievement, inclusion, creativity etc.
The value-add score is most easily improved by ensuring feedback is enabled (and received) on all meetings. Beyond that, improvement will be a function of getting everything else right.
The total score figure in the grey box is then calculated by adding the headline scores for all nine boxes – this provides a viable maximum of 900 points. Read more
However, the compound score only applies to the people and meetings that are covered by the data, and so the final figure is is multiplied by the adoption figure in the leadership box to calculate a final score which is representative of the population as a whole.
The compound score is most easily improved by ensuring that all of the people who are engaged in meetings are actively uploading their data.
Each Status Report covers the team at the level of the manager who receives the report. The table below the graphical representation of those figures shows the scores for all of the component elements of the top team – the people and the business units who report in at that level.
The table is colour-coded in order that actions can be allocated to the areas of the team that will be best placed to improve their local scores, and thereby bring up the overall performance of the team.