Wide Awake Developers

Can You Make That Meeting?

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I’m convinced that the next great productivity revolution will be de-matrixing the organizations we’ve just spent ten years slicing and dicing.

Yesterday, I ran into a case in point: What are the odds that three people can schedule a meeting this week versus having to push it into next week?

Turns out that if they’re each 75% utilized, then there’s only a 15% chance they can schedule a one hour meeting this week. (If you always schedule 30 minute meetings instead of one hour, then the odds go up to about 25%.)

Here’s the probability curve that the meeting can happen. This assumes, by the way, that there are no lunches or vacation days, and that all parties are in the same time zone. It only gets worse from here.

So, overall, there’s about an 85% chance that 3 random people in a meeting-driven company will have to defer until next week.

Bring it up to 10 people, in a consensus-driven, meeting-oriented company, and the odds drop to 0.00095%.

No wonder “time to first meeting” seems to dominate “time to do stuff.”