Calculating Meeting ROTI (Return on Time invested)

As you know from earlier posts, poorly run, time-wasting meetings peeve me.

I’ve read that improving the quality and productivity of meetings can improve productivity for the organization by up to 15%. When you consider that many people, especially managers, spend up to half their work week in meetings, improving meetings seems a good investment.

I posted a column on on this topic. (It’s on the front page now, after the week of July 28, search on “ROTI”.)

Here are the details on using ROTI.

If you want to improve meetings, gather data to focus your efforts. At the end of the meeting, ask participants to rate their Return on Time Invested (ROTI) using this five point scale:

0 = Lost Principle: No Benefit Received for Time Invested

1 = a little better than 0

2= Break-Even:Received Benefit Equal to Time Invested

3= a little less than 4

4=High Return on Investment: Received Benefit Greater than Time Invested

Benefit can come from:

Sharing information

Making decisions

Solving problems

Planning work

As each participant states his/her rating, build a histogram that shows the results. It might look like this.

Meeting ROTI

4 |

3 ||

2 ||||

1 |

0 |

I’m happy if most people feel the meeting was a break-even investment. Still, there’s almost always room for improvement. Even if everyone rated the meeting at 4, it’s worth doing the next step to find out why the meeting worked well so you can repeat your success.

-Ask the people who rated the meeting 2 or above what specifically they received for their time investment.

-Ask the people who rated the meeting at 0 or 1 what they wanted but didn’t get.

-Then ask what specifically worked, what didn’t work, and for possible changes.

Next meeting you can make adjustment based on the data you”ve gathered.