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Conducting Efficient Meetings

One of the most “instantly useful” presentations was Kathleen Liston’s (CIFE) on how to conduct efficient meetings. She has spent several years studying people in meetings, to understand how people interact with models. She shared several different types of meetings using different mediums and combinations of mediums for communication.

One of the things she discussed was the different ways to use the model, which make the meeting increasingly productive and enjoyable:

  • Viewing
  • Pointing
  • Marking Up (this is where teams start to see a huge jump in efficiency)
  • Modifying

After the meeting, Sarah, the BIM Lead from KlingStubbins for the Autodesk HQ, and I talked about using some of Kathleen’s concepts. We are both intrigued about the idea of modifying the model live in the meeting, but need to figure out how to make it work efficiently. It seems like it will save some time, but it will definitely take planning and coordination.

Kathleen also suggested assigning functional roles to people, so that everyone has a purpose: a model rotator, a laser pointer(er?), a mark-uper and a faciliatator. She also suggested that each space (monitor) have a function; for instance, maybe one screen shows the model and the other shows comments/text.

The team also needs to define how the BIM will be used in the meeting. Through her research, she has found that a model can be a “friend or foe” – one issue is if some people are using (and trusting) the model and others are relying solely on the drawings. She also said that drawings can be incredible effective, if the team is collaborating around one set.

And lastly, she indicated that meetings should not only avoid negative interaction (obviously), there should be a balance of work and play. There should be breaks with social interaction – it makes people more productive, and they leave the meeting more satisfied.

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