A $30,000 software package is actually $3,000 worth of software plus $27,000 worth of meetings.
And most clients are bad at meetings. As a result, so are many video developers, freelance writers, conference organizers, architects and lawyers.
If you’re a provider, the analysis is simple: How much faster, easier and better-constructed would your work be if you began the work with all the meetings already done, with the spec confirmed, with the parameters clear?
Well, if that’s what you need, build it on purpose.
The biggest difference between great work and pretty-good work are the meetings that accompanied it.
The crisp meeting is one of a series. It’s driven by purpose and intent. It’s guided by questions:
Who should be in the room?
What’s the advance preparation we ought to engage in? (at least an hour for every meeting that’s worth holding).
What’s the budget?
What’s the deadline?
What does the reporting cycle look like–dates and content and responsibilities?
Who is the decision maker on each element of the work?
What’s the model–what does a successful solution look like?
Who can say no, who can change the spec, who can adjust the budget?
When things go wrong, what’s our approach to fixing them?
What constitutes an emergency, and what is the cost (in time, effort and quality) of stopping work on the project to deal with the emergency instead?
Is everyone in the room enrolled in the same project, or is part of the project to persuade the nay-sayers?
If it’s not going to be a crisp meeting, the professional is well-advised to not even attend.
It’s a disappointing waste of time, resources and talent to spend money to work on a problem that actually should be a conversation first.