How to allot time
Allot time for meeting topics based on their significance. Agenda items are like work in general -- they will expand to fill whatever time is available.
To allot time most productively consider some of these strategies:
- Identify the number of people likely to attend. Then estimate the total amout of time required if everyone made one 30-second comment. This is the minimal amount of time you'll need.
- For each agenda item identify activities that will be required (presentations, review of documents, voting, prioritizing, etc.) and factor these into the total time needed for each item.
- Consider the likely level of agreement for each agenda item. Where there is wide disagreement over certain topics, allow more time for these times.
Tip: Going around the table and inviting everyone to make an announcement is generally not a wise use of collective time. Participants may feel pressure to say something regardless of how important the item may be. Similarly, having no time alloted to individual agenda items may mean that too much time is spent on the least significant items and not enough time on the most important items.