There are many articles that outline strategies to improve the efficiency of meetings. They include having an agenda (clearly stating the objective of the meeting), inviting the right people and making sure they see there is value for them to attend the meeting, starting on time, ending on time and keeping it short, and having an action plan are just some of the examples that have been cited.
If you are the person responsible for organizing a meeting, in addition to preparing the agenda and inviting the relevant people you will typically provide supporting documentation that provides background and context for the meeting so the attendees have the information they need to add value to the discussion / decision making process. In many cases the attendees will annotate and/or make their own notes on points within the agenda and mark-up any supporting documents as required in order to be better prepared for a meeting.
What are some of the issues to delivering the right content to the right people in a timely manner?
Typically, the content is either distribution via email as a set of attachments (that may then be printed by an assistant for an executive to have for the meeting) or stored in a shared drive that the attendees access to obtain the relevant documentation (that may also be printed).
One of the issues with these approaches is the difficulty when updating any previously distributed documents to ensure that all the attendees have received the updated information.
This issue becomes more complex when there may be agenda items that require the attendance of specific individuals and their need for specific supporting documentation. For the attendees, how do they quickly identify what changes have been made to the supporting documentation?
In addition, what happens to the notes that have been added by attendees on “previous” versions of the documentation. Are they expected to redo the work, copy and paste their comments, keep multiple versions of the documentation and remember what version is the most current?
The motivation to be well prepared can be challenged if attendees are asked to reread documents to determine what has been updated or asked to redo the work they have already done in putting together their notes for the meeting. The right solutions will ensure the right people always have the right content, immediately know what has been changed (updated, deleted or added) and their notes are preserved from one version to the subsequent versions of the document.
The next question is how to improve communication prior to the meeting? In many cases there may be a desire for attendees to ask questions in advance, confer with other attendees, or for the organizer may want to communicate with some or all attendees about an item prior to the meeting. The typical approach would be use email – the challenge is the recipient has no context for the question and has to refer to the document to try and find the relevant passage to reply, or the email has to contain all the relevant content. In either case, none of this discussion is captured within the documents and may be lost when being reviewed in the meeting. Ideally, a solution should provide the ability to not only add personal notes the attendee wants to make in preparation for a meeting, but also provide for the delivery of notes that are tied directly to the context being discussed to all, or a subset of users and allow for replies that are also in context.
How can you address these challenges?
SavvyDox provides a complete solution for the effective distribution of content for meetings. The organizer has the ability to create a unique folder for any meeting, define a group that identifies the required recipients and than add content to that folder that is automatically distributed to all the recipients defined in that group. If these are regular meetings with changing members, all the organizer has to do is update the group and new members will receive all content for that group and those who are removed will have all the documentation revoked. In addition, for any documents the organizer can add individual recipients who will only receive the marked documents and any updates made to those documents.
With SavvyDox, attendees know if they have the latest version of the content distributed for a meeting. The green check mark lets them know they have the latest version. Underneath the document they immediately see if they if any notes have been sent to them so they know there are issues they need to review
Attendees have the ability to add their personal notes in preparation for the meeting, or they can send them to everyone, just the organizer, or with selected attendees to create a side conversation. When an attendee opens a document they immediately see a list of the comments that have been sent to them regarding the document and with one click will see the comment in context. In addition, when an attendee opens a new version of a document their notes are preserved and they immediately see what pages have changed and with one click they are immediately taken to the correct page to see what has changed. With SavvyDox the power of this is enhanced with our ability to compare any 2 versions of a document with one or 2 clicks and immediately see a summary of the changes that have been made.
For the person responsible for distributing content they need a way to quickly ensure the attendees have received the latest version of the document (and can see what they have pages they have read). Have attendees received the documents, opened the documents, and read the documents, including the ability to track if a review has been completed. With SavvyDox the information is available at your fingertips. You see who has received and opened documents, the status of any task assigned, what pages they have read (and SavvyDox is smart enough to know if a user has read version 1, that when they receive later versions they only have to read the changed pages), as well as showing how many notes have been added that have been shared with the originator.
SavvyDox provides an effective document management solution to meet your meeting needs and can work on a standalone basis or complement an existing content management system.