One trend I have noticed recently is the move away from the weekly WIP meeting. The introduction of real time, interactive traffic functions and automatically generated To Do lists and calendar entries with escalation alerts, has meant the need to meet face to face to work through the current production work load is less than was previously the case.
I am co-authoring an eBook on marcoms organisations and their profitability and I would really like to know, does your organisation still hold regular WIP meetings?
Early in my career, many an early morning Monday was spent going through the WIP spreadsheet and Job Cost Reports poring over resources and negotiating priorities and compromises. The status of the various jobs in progress was discussed both in terms of where they were up to in execution and in financial status. Are we on schedule?, could we bill anything?, how were we tracking in terms of the budget? etc.
The tools employed were coffee, croissants, more coffee, whiteboard, markers, pencils, erasers and printed WIP spreadsheets and lengthy JCRs.
The traffic manager would mark-up the master spreadsheet with any new work and note any changes to existing status.
Finance and Account Service would markup the JCRs with any potential income take-up and/or billing activity.
One significant attribute of the WIP meeting was the negotiation, involving interaction between the various disciplines within the agency. Sometimes heated but most times collegiate, such interaction generally reflected the culture of collaboration within the group. Because of the early start there was the odd prank played, shoe laces tied together, 10 sugars in the coffee, curdled milk swapped for fresh, that style of good natured activity.
Later in the day we would all receive an email with the updated WIP sheet attached. That WIP spreadsheet was out of date even before it was published however, it was fortunately superseded by a large whiteboard in the traffic area where the day to day movements were pencilled.
These days with sophisticated tools like Ntuity, the whiteboard has been replaced by a 76 inch digital screen and the markers replaced by mouse clicks dragging and dropping tasks on a digital timeline. The WIP report is replaced by a To Do list, calendar entries and alerts with tasks being updated on-line by the participants from basically anywhere.
But what about the coffee, the croissants, the heated discourse, the collegiate collaboration and of course, the pranks?
Do they still work in the digital age?
Are WIP meetings still relevant?
So I really do want to know if your agency still conducts regular WIP meetings. I would genuinely appreciate it if you could simply add a comment. Yes or No, I will post the results (if the sample is sufficiently representative).
Many thanx in anticipation. Marshall……………..