Different meetings for different purposes

Hanjie Ji

Director of Engineering at WeWork


My Approach

"I am the manager of three teams - one team is in New York and the two others are in Tel Aviv, in Israel. I need to have some visibility about their actions but I also need to ensure they have visibility about what is coming up."

To achieve this, I hold different types of meetings, each with a specific role:

  1. Standup:

    • In my opinion, this is the most important one. It is the place to get information about what everyone is doing.
    • I usually take a few minutes before every stand-up to allow everyone to clearly articulate what they are going to say.
    • As I cannot attend the daily standups of my teams in Israel, I have a sync-up meeting on Wednesdays with my Israeli teams, which allows me to get information about what each person in those teams is doing.
  2. Sprint Planning:

    • We work with two-week sprints.
    • On Mondays, at the beginning of each sprint, we kick off the sprint.
    • We set objectives and allocate resources.
    • This gives short-term visibility.
  3. Exceptional Projects:

    • Most of our work is incremental and has to do with feature improvements.
    • When a big project comes in, we usually set up a meeting with the whole team to communicate the implications of the project.

Lessons Learned

"The first principle that I try to apply is trust. Trust your team and do not stand behind them all the time to check whether they are doing what you want them to. Instead, use dedicated times to let them communicate their progress to you (e.g. during standups and sprint planning meetings)."

"A second way to ensure visibility is to involve people in decisions. Not only do they receive information, but they also contribute to and acknowledge the decisions being made. This is what I try to do during bigger meetings for new projects."

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Hanjie Ji

Director of Engineering at WeWork

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyDecision MakingEngineering ManagementSprint CadencePerformance MetricsLeadership RolesFeedback & ReviewsTeam & Project Management

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