Tips for Executing Successful Virtual Meetings
Written by Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese
New technology and the reality of working in global organizations means we are replacing traditional in-person meetings with travel-free, technology-enabled, face-to-face collaboration that can occur at anytime, with anyone, anywhere in the world.
The virtual workplace has many advantages, but it also introduces new challenges. We work with people we've never met before, and we cannot bond in the same way we do when we are sitting across the table from them.
The three most important ingredients of a successful virtual meeting are trust, communication and ready access to information.
Here are a few tips to help you succeed:
· Before the meeting, make sure attendees have all the preparation materials they will need and the time to review them.
· Begin with a quick warm-up. For example, start the meeting by asking remote attendees to describe what's happening in their country, town or office.
· During "blended" meetings, where some attendees are gathering in person and others are participating virtually, address remote attendees first and then offer the opportunity to speak to in-person attendees.
· Identify in-person attendees. In-room speakers -- whether presenting or making a comment -- should introduce themselves so that remote attendees know who is speaking.
· Ask remote attendees to be vocal. Emphasize that it is their responsibility to let in-person people know if they cannot hear or follow the discussion.
· Don't assume everyone is comfortable with the virtual collaboration technology. Communicate and publish the location and guidelines for the tools you're using.
· Rotate meeting times. Ensure that each time zone has a meeting scheduled during normal business hours.
· Solicit participation. Regularly ask remote attendees if they have comments and encourage participants to post a message.
· Assign a meeting monitor. Keep an eye out for questions, IMs or chat postings and interjects from remote attendees.
· If your virtual team includes customers, partners, suppliers or vendors, ensure the security of your documents and corporate information.
· Avoid colloquialisms, acronyms and corporate-speak if you have non-native speakers.
About the Authors: Ron Ricci, co-author of The Collaboration Imperative, is the vice president of corporate positioning and has spent the last decade helping Cisco develop and nurture a culture of sharing and collaborative processes. In addition, he has spent countless hours with hundreds of different organizations discussing the impact of collaboration. He is also the co-author of the business best-seller Momentum: How Companies Become Unstoppable Market Forces.
Carl Wiese, co-author of The Collaboration Imperative, is senior vice president of Cisco's collaboration sales--a multi-billion global business. He has presented on the importance of collaboration to business audiences in dozens of countries, including Australia, China, Dubai, India, Mexico and all across Europe and the United States. With more than 25 years of sales, marketing, services and product-management experience with Cisco, Apple, Lucent, Avaya and Texas Instruments, Wiese has spent his career working with companies worldwide to advance their business goals with technology. Follow Carl Wiese on Twitter.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.