Efficient Meeting Pattern - EMP v0.2

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90 percent of employees feel meetings are “costly” and “unproductive”

“Status” meetings are a waste of time and extremely costly for the company.

A 1-hour meeting with 4 people = 4 hours spent
An all-hands meeting of 2 hours with 40 people = 80 hours = 10 days spent

The Efficient Meeting Pattern aims to reduce by four times the time spent on “status” meetings

How does it work?

EMP is like an application that offers several levels of features. It can also be compared to a physical or sporting activity where there are different levels based on each person’s skill.


The principle revolves around a central module that is enriched with satellite modules depending on our level of expectation and maturity.

How to start?

Efficient Meeting Pattern follows a logic of transformation. It is therefore recommended to gradually start applying the principles and increase the level as the team becomes more engaged.

Below are the details of the 3 EMP levels.

3 levels

Features Level 1 - The Minimalist Level 1 Level 2 - The Perfectionist Level 2 Level 3 - The Nerd Level 3
Before the meeting      
Apply the efficient meeting pattern
Share the topic to be discussed, the goal of the discussion, and the success criteria
Share status elements in a known, shared, and archivable place (OneNote, Loop, Notion…)
Share documents to read/know to effectively conduct the meeting
Share concepts to know to effectively conduct the meeting
Respond YES to invitations if I can/must attend
Respond NO to invitations if I am absent/on leave/sick
Cancel my meetings if I am absent/on leave/sick
Do not have “unanswered” meetings in the calendar
Take 5 minutes at the end of the week to review the meetings for the following week and check for conflicts
Use the “mandatory” and “optional” features when scheduling the meeting
Delay the start of the meeting by 5 minutes  
Shorten the meeting by 10 minutes  
Take 5 minutes at the end of the day to review the meetings for the next day and check for conflicts  
Take 5 minutes in the middle of the day to prepare for the meetings of the next day    
During the meeting      
Apply the efficient meeting pattern
Be on time for meetings
Postpone the meeting if the “mandatory” participants are not present
Ensure that time is managed (timekeeper)  
Come prepared to the meetings  
After the meeting      
Share the minutes of the meeting
Share and assign the task list
Share the next steps
Add your todos on your personal task management system (if applicable)  

The pattern


  1. Prepare your meeting
  2. Send the invitation including all details following the template
  3. Share status on the shared document asynchronously
  4. Conduct the meeting

Meeting agenda & timing


Sharing document template

This document is used to share all updates prior to the meeting so that participants can focus on the essentials during the discussion.

Participants should update and read this document before the meeting.

You can copy/paste this template and update & remove according to your needs.

Date: [Insert date here]

Participants: [Insert list of participants here]



Minutes of the meeting: [To be updated]


Next steps:

Meeting template

It is important to mention that the invite must be read before the meeting (in the meeting’s title).

You can copy/paste this template and update & remove according to your needs.

Meeting title : [An explicit and attractive title] - Read this before the meeting

Collaboration topic(s):

Objective: [A clear sentence explaining the objective of the discussion]


Updates: Please share your updates on this document before the meeting: [insert link here]

Agenda [Example, to be updated]:

Methodology: I’m following the Efficient Meeting Pattern to reduce the time spent in non-productive meetings. You can find all the details and documentation about EMP on this page.

1 Level
2 Level

1 Level
2 Level

In case there is no immediate need to collaborate on a specific topic, you can skip the last 30 minutes of the meeting.

How to communicate and get adhesion from your team?

Explain the “Why,” the starting point, the foundation. The idea is not to add something or propose a “new reorganization.” The core of the subject is the meaning of our work and the waste of our resources.

Lead by example. Probably the best way to prove the model’s viability.

Communication. Include the image of your badge in your invitations; this should spark curiosity and perhaps even debates. We have two sets of badges to choose from according to your preferences (copy/paste):

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3

Library & inspiration


Want to contribute?

You can contribute to EMP by posting your comments and suggestions. Create a ticket

We are on Github .

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This work © 2024 by Benoit Lamouche is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0