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Version 1.1, last updated September 2018


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About the Meeting Performance Maturity Model

Meetings are a keystone habit that organizations must perform well if they wish to maintain a healthy culture and a competitive edge. The Lucid Meeting Performance Maturity Model (MPMM) provides a framework for understanding how well an organization’s meetings perform. The MPMM is descriptive not prescriptive, detailing the meeting practices we observed at organizations exhibiting different levels of meeting competence, confidence, and satisfaction.

The MPMM is structured similarly to the well-established People Capability Maturity Model® (P-CMM®) V 2.0. Like the 20+ year-old P-CMM, the MPMM embraces the following concepts:

1. Capability is developed in stages.

These stages can be described as significant levels that, once achieved, make it possible to progress to the next stage. For example, it isn’t possible to consistently monitor and evaluate meeting outcomes (a Level 3 practice) until the organization consistently documents meeting outcomes (a Level 2 practice). Similarly, it isn’t possible to harmonize meeting practices across business units until after the business units have meeting practices to harmonize.

2. Each maturity level can be the optimal maturity level for some organizations.

Level 1 maturity, where the organization relies on the individual skills and preferences of meeting leaders rather than a set of documented shared expectations, can work beautifully in small organizations with skilled workforces.

Even when you take meetings very seriously, you still might not operate at the top levels of performance maturity. At Lucid Meetings, we operate at Level 3 because we’re simply not big enough to warrant Level 4 practices.

Lower maturity levels do not necessarily lead to unsuccessful outcomes.

3. There are many right ways to do meetings.

The practices an organization needs in place to achieve each level may be implemented in many different ways. For example, to achieve Level 2 maturity, an organization needs to demonstrate that “Meeting records provide evidence that the expected meeting practices were followed.” This might be in the form of formal meeting minutes, follow-up notes in an online system, or in updates to the sticky notes posted on the team’s wall. The specific form and contents of the records are determined by the organization and its circumstances.


The Model Components

Maturity LevelFocus AreasPractices

Maturity Levels

There are five levels of organizational meeting performance maturity. We evaluate an organization’s performance level by seeking evidence that they consistently support the behaviors and systems, or practices, defined at that level.

Focus Areas

Each focus area describes a set of related practices that improve organizational meeting performance. The focus areas address different aspects of meeting performance, such as Meeting Design, Stakeholder Satisfaction, and Cultural Ownership, that when developed collectively, achieve the goals of each performance capability level.

Practices

A practice describes a behavior, system, or process used to achieve meeting performance capability goals. The practices define a performance-based goal state that can be objectively observed. Put simply-either an organization has a practice in place, or it doesn’t.

As noted above, the model doesn’t prescribe how to implement each practice.

Performance maturity is achieved by designing and implementing contextually-appropriate meeting practices in each of the five focus areas.


The 5 Levels of Meeting Performance Maturity

Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5IndividualProfessionalEffectiveSystematizedWorld Class

Level 1: Individual

Meeting competency is not an area of organizational focus. Meeting success is dependent on the preferences and abilities of individual meeting leaders.

Level 2: Professional

The organization establishes professional standards for meetings. Meeting leaders take responsibility for seeing that meetings adhere to these standards.

At this level, meetings consistently have a clear purpose and documented results, although there may be no further standardization from meeting to meeting beyond these basics.

Level 3: Effective

Meeting processes are defined and implemented to achieve specific outcomes for each business unit.

Once they establish standard professional meeting practices, each team or business unit can focus on making sure the meetings they hold support the specific work they do. Level 3 organizations can successfully apply a meeting taxonomy to differentiate between meeting functions and pre-determine appropriate meeting structures. Units often adopt meetings described as part of brand-name industry practices such as Scrum (for software development) or Six Sigma and Lean (for manufacturing teams).

Level 4: Systematized

Meeting processes are integrated and harmonized across the organization. Systems are established to monitor and evaluate meeting performance data in support of continued process improvement.

The work of this level focuses on process improvement. With documented processes and outcomes in place, organizations can consider which meetings work well, how to handle areas of cross-functional overlap, and how to develop systems that support and automate repetitive meeting tasks (such as agenda preparation and metrics collection) that have been standardized across the organization.

Level 5: Optimized World Class

Meeting practices embed the organization’s values and strategic priorities. Meetings are continuously improved to optimize strategic outcomes.

Level 5 organizations have achieved mastery over their meetings. These meetings often work so well that other organizations seek to emulate them. These are the organizations from which Level 3 organizations learn best practices.


The 5 Focus Areas for Meeting Performance Maturity

1. Meeting Design

The Meeting Design component looks at how well a group understands and standardizes their approach to the different kinds of meetings they hold. Low maturity organizations make little distinction between meeting types and no attempt to standardize their approach. High maturity organizations develop standardized meeting practices specific to each meeting function and tailored for their unique work context and culture.

2. Meeting Skills

The Meeting Skills component assesses the ability of people in the organization to schedule, convene, facilitate, design and effectively participate in meetings. Low maturity organizations take no special effort to recruit or cultivate these skills. High maturity organizations develop these skills across the organization and support skill development as part of recognized job functions.

3. Stakeholder Satisfaction

Are meetings in the organization considered enjoyable and useful? Do the people involved both within the organization and externally feel like the meetings are relevant and productive? Do meeting outcomes serve both the meeting participants and the people impacted by those outcomes? The Stakeholder Satisfaction component digs into this aspect of performance maturity. Low maturity organizations do not ask these questions; high maturity organizations track this information and use it to improve.

4. Facilities, Technology, and Resources

This component examines the infrastructure in place to support and measure meeting performance, with an emphasis on how easy the organization makes it to plan and lead consistently effective meetings. Low maturity organizations have little support beyond basic meeting scheduling. High maturity organizations use systems to streamline meeting tasks and records collection, and provide world-class facilities for conducting meetings.

5. Cultural Ownership

The Cultural Ownership component addresses integrity in the organization’s meeting practice. As many consultants can tell you, the easiest way to determine an organization’s true culture is to observe a team meeting. Low maturity organizations just meet, leaving the way that people treat each other and what they talk about to the discretion of individual managers. High maturity organizations walk their talk. They have an established code of conduct for meetings that applies equally to everyone, and they adopt rituals that expressly reinforce their stated values and priorities.


Practices

The chart below details the specific practices organizations develop in each focus area to achieve that level of performance capability. For a larger view, download the PDF version of this page.

Note: There is no column for level 1, as organizations do not put focus on meeting capability development at that level.

Level 2: Professional Level 3: Effective Level 4: Systematized Level 5: Optimized World Class
Description The organization establishes professional standards for meetings. Meeting leaders take responsibility for leading meetings that adhere to these standards. Meeting processes are defined and implemented to achieve specific outcomes for each business unit. Meeting processes are integrated and harmonized across the organization. Systems are established to monitor and evaluate meeting performance data in support of continued process improvement. Meeting practices embed the organization’s values and strategic priorities. Meetings are continuously improved to optimize strategic outcomes.
Meeting Design
  1. Expected meeting practices are documented.
  1. Business units use predictable meeting structures and cadences designed to deliver pre-determined business outcomes.
  2. Distinct meeting roles are identified and documented.
  3. Meeting designs clarify the process for making decisions within that business unit.
  4. Meeting process documentation is maintained, communicated, and accurate for each business unit.
  1. Business process definition includes identification and integration of meeting practices across business units.
  2. Standard organization-wide meeting structures are documented for each distinct type of meeting conducted as part of normal operations.
  3. Unit-specific meeting practices are evaluated and harmonized when a proven performance benefit can be achieved.
  4. Standardized decision-making methods are developed and shared across the organization.
  1. Meeting designs intentionally reflect organizational values and strategic priorities.
  2. Existing meeting designs evolve based on experimentation and regular critique.
  3. Proactive initiatives are taken to design new meeting structures based upon gaps identified through self-assessments.
  4. Meeting process documentation and controls are proactively developed and validated when work on new systems, products, or initiatives begins.
Meeting Skills
  1. Meeting leaders are expected to follow the documented practices.
  2. Meeting records provide evidence that the expected meeting practices were followed.
  1. Training programs for meeting leaders in best practice methodology and basic facilitation are in place.
  2. Training and/or mentoring on meeting participation is in place.
  3. Meeting outcomes are consistently documented and traceable across sequences of related meetings.
  4. Job descriptions and interviews formally address meeting conduct.
  1. Training programs for meeting facilitation and design are in place.
  2. Meeting leaders and participants receive ongoing training and have access to mentorship and coaching programs.
  3. Meeting performance expectations are documented and discussed as part of job performance review.
  1. Meeting facilitation and design is a recognized job function and core competency within the organization.
  2. Effective meeting participation enables distributed decision making throughout the organization.
  3. Individuals take advantage of resources for continuously improving meeting-related skills.
Stakeholder Satisfaction
  1. Meeting participants are empowered to require meetings adhere to documented practices.
  1. Key stakeholders are identified, including both meeting participants and those impacted by meeting outcomes.
  2. Metrics are established and collected for both qualitative and quantitative meeting satisfaction and performance indicators.
  3. Proactive initiatives are in place to minimize or eliminate ineffective meetings.
  1. Stakeholder feedback is consistently collected across the organization.
  2. Inappropriate meeting structures or behaviors impacting stakeholder expectations receive corrective attention from management.
  3. Meeting performance metrics are available for audit and regularly reviewed.
  1. Stakeholder feedback validates that the meeting structures used meet or exceed stakeholder expectations.
  2. External stakeholders and observers have qualitatively consistent meeting experiences when meeting with different groups within the organization.
Facilities, Technology, and Resources
  1. Support for scheduling, holding, and recording meeting outcomes is in place.
  1. Centralized meeting records are available for the standard meetings conducted by each unit.
  2. Meeting facilities and technology support the designed meeting processes.
  1. Systems are in place to automate high frequency meeting tasks.
  2. Meeting content is centrally available and can be easily reviewed.
  3. Meeting design and process documentation is available in standardized formats.
  4. Meeting performance metrics are consistently collected, readily available, and can be examined on multiple dimensions.
  5. The organization maintains a well-stocked meeting toolkit, including appropriate facilities, technology, and supplies for in-person meetings and remote meetings.
  6. Employees have access to organization internal resources that support continuous improvement in meeting skills.
  1. Meeting facilities and technology are consistently updated to support a wide range of meeting practices.
  2. Individuals throughout the organization receive support for participation in professional development activities outside the organization.
  3. Individuals can access experimental technologies and resources for evaluation in support of continuous meeting performance improvement.
Cultural Ownership
  1. Meeting expectations are consistently communicated across business units.
  1. Participation from everyone invited to a meeting is expected, encouraged, and supported by the meeting structures in use.
  2. Updated meeting practices are developed with input from various employee groups.
  3. Employees feel empowered to raise questions about meeting practices and performance.
  1. Meetings incorporate organization specific language and rituals that harmonize the organizational culture across business units.
  2. Employees and leaders assume joint ownership for meeting success.
  3. People are recognized for demonstrating effective meeting skills.
  1. Meetings embody the organization’s declared culture.
  2. Meeting design efforts optimize for both business outcomes and cultural cohesion.
  3. Past meeting outcomes are reviewed and evaluated for net positive impact.

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