April 2024


What Is Meeting Cadence? And How to Find the Right Rhythm for Your Team

Learn what meeting cadence is and how it can help you optimize team collaboration. Discover the types of meetings, ideal frequencies, and best practices for effective meeting cadences.

Founder Associate

How often should you meet with your team?

Finding the right balance is crucial for maintaining productivity and alignment!

Too many meetings can lead to burnout and decreased efficiency, while too few meetings can struggle to keep the team aligned and productive, resulting in communication breakdowns and misalignment.

The key lies in establishing the perfect meeting cadence for your team.

meeting cadence meaning

What is a Meeting Cadence?

Meeting cadence refers to the frequency and rhythm of recurring meetings within a team or company.

It encompasses various types of meetings, such as daily meetings for time-sensitive projects, daily stand-ups, weekly progress updates, bi-weekly meetings that strike the right balance between regular check-ins and efficiency, monthly reviews, and quarterly strategic planning sessions.

By setting a consistent and purposeful meeting schedule, you can foster collaboration, maintain alignment, and drive progress towards your goals.

Why Is Meeting Cadence Important?

meeting rythm hierarchy

A well-structured meeting cadence can significantly enhance team communication and collaboration.

It ensures that teams are aligned on their goals and progress while providing regular opportunities for team members to voice concerns, share ideas, and stay informed about organizational developments.

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Establishing a well-defined meeting cadence offers several benefits:

  • Improved communication and alignment
  • Increased productivity and focus
  • Better decision-making and problem-solving
  • Enhanced team cohesion and morale

That said, finding the right cadence can be challenging.

According to an Atlassian survey, 78% of people say they’re expected to attend so many meetings, that it’s hard to get their work done.

51% have to work overtime at least a few days a week due to meeting overload, and for those at the director level and up, that number rises to 67%.

This highlights the importance of carefully considering your team’s needs and setting the right rhythm.

Examples of Meeting Cadence

meeting cadence

Different types of meetings require adjustments in their frequent meeting cadence based on priorities and meeting duration. Here are some common examples:

Daily Stand-up Meetings

Best reserved for quick stand-ups and daily meetings, especially in fast-paced environments like startups, daily stand-ups help keep everyone informed of daily developments and ensure teams stay aligned on time-sensitive projects. Daily meetings are recommended for teams working on time-sensitive projects, such as software and product teams collaborating on product launches, marketing teams checking in on active campaigns, and legal and finance teams navigating mergers or acquisitions.

  • Frequency: Every day
  • Duration: 10-15 minutes
  • Purpose: Share progress, identify roadblocks, and align on priorities

Weekly Team Meetings

Implementing weekly meetings is essential for team coordination, progress updates, and ensuring project alignment. These meetings offer a platform for individual interactions and allow the team to address immediate challenges and priorities efficiently.

  • Frequency: Once a week
  • Duration: 30-60 minutes
  • Purpose: Review progress, discuss challenges, and plan for the upcoming week

Monthly Meetings

These are best suited for management check-ins, project progress reviews, department meetings, and cross-functional team updates.

  • Frequency: Once a month
  • Duration: 60-90 minutes
  • Purpose: Assess performance, identify areas for improvement, and set goals for the next month

Quarterly Meetings

These are ideal for high-level overviews, business reviews, strategic planning sessions, and all-hands meetings. Establishing a quarterly meeting cadence is key for executive-level alignment, ensuring that leadership teams are aligned on company objectives and progress.

  • Frequency: Once every three months
  • Duration: Half-day to full-day
  • Purpose: Align on long-term goals, review progress, and make strategic decisions

Each type of meeting serves a unique purpose, and choosing the right cadence for each is crucial for effective team management.

How to Choose the Right Meeting Cadence for Your Team

good meeting cadence factors to consider

The ideal meeting rhythm varies across teams and organizations. It’s influenced by several factors, including the purpose of the meeting, team member preferences, organizational culture, and the pivotal role of team leaders.

Here are the key factors to consider and how they can help you determine the best meeting cadence for your team:

Team size and structure

  • Assess the number of team members and their roles within the organization.
  • Determine if subgroups or smaller teams require separate meeting cadences.
  • Consider how the size of your team may affect meeting duration and frequency.

Project complexity and timeline

  • Evaluate the intricacy of your projects and the level of coordination required among team members.
  • Adjust meeting frequency based on project phases and milestones.
  • Ensure your meeting cadence supports timely decision-making and problem-solving.

Communication needs and preferences

  • Identify the most effective communication channels for your team (e.g., in-person, video conferencing, instant messaging).
  • Consider the balance between synchronous and asynchronous communication.
  • Assess team members' preferences for meeting times and formats.

Company culture and values

  • Align your meeting cadence with your organization's values and priorities.
  • Foster a culture of open communication, collaboration, and accountability through your meeting structure.
  • Ensure your meeting cadence promotes a healthy work-life balance and respects team members' time.

Remote vs. in-person team dynamics

  • Determine the best meeting cadence for remote, in-person, or hybrid teams.
  • Account for time zone differences and technology requirements when scheduling meetings.
  • Establish clear guidelines for remote meeting participation and engagement.

Expert Tips for Determining Your Ideal Meeting Cadence

meeting length meeting frequency balance for productive meetings

Finding the perfect meeting cadence for your team can be confusing, but by following these simple steps, you can create a schedule that promotes productivity, collaboration, and effective communication:

  1. Define the purpose and objectives of each meeting type. Clearly identify the goals and desired outcomes for each type of meeting. Ensure that each meeting has a specific purpose and aligns with your team’s overall objectives. Determine whether the meeting requires real-time interaction or if asynchronous communication would suffice.
  2. Identify the necessary participants and their roles. Carefully consider who needs to attend each meeting based on their roles. Assign clear roles and responsibilities to each participant, such as facilitator, note-taker, or timekeeper, to ensure meetings run smoothly and efficiently.
  3. Consider your team’s size, projects, and communication needs. Take into account the size of your team and the complexity of your projects when determining the frequency and length of meetings.
  4. Avoid too few meetings to ensure continuous alignment and productivity. Striking the right balance in meeting frequency is crucial. Too few meetings can lead to misalignment within the team and hinder productivity, as it becomes challenging to stay on the same page with infrequent updates. Ensure your meeting cadence allows for regular alignment and efficient collaboration without overwhelming the team with too many meetings.
  5. Start with a baseline cadence and adjust based on feedback. Begin with a standard meeting cadence that aligns with your team’s initial needs and goals, such as weekly team meetings, daily stand-ups, or monthly progress reviews.
  6. Use meeting management tools like Jamie to streamline the process. Leverage jamie’s AI features to optimize your meeting cadence, generate meeting notes, and track action items and follow-ups.

Overcoming Common Meeting Cadence Challenges

overcoming meeting cadences challenges

Implementing a new meeting cadence or adjusting an existing one can come with challenges. From resistance to change to finding the right balance, many teams struggle to establish a cadence that works for everyone. Common challenges and solutions include:

Resistance to change

  • Communicate benefits clearly and involve team members in decision-making.
  • Gradually introduce changes and provide training and support.

Finding the right balance

Scheduling conflicts and time zone differences

  • Use scheduling tools and establish a recurring schedule for essential meetings.
  • Be mindful of time zones, especially for remote or distributed teams.

Managing remote and hybrid team dynamics

  • Establish guidelines for remote meeting etiquette and invest in reliable tools.
  • Foster inclusivity and schedule regular one-on-ones with remote team members.

Balancing meetings with deep work

  • Implement "no-meeting days" or designated focus time blocks.
  • Assess the value of each meeting and eliminate or streamline as needed.

Measuring the Impact of Your Meeting Cadence

leadership team meeting cadences

To ensure that your meeting cadence is effective and driving desired outcomes, it's crucial to regularly assess and measure its impact. By tracking key metrics and gathering feedback from your team, you can gain valuable insights into what's working well and identify areas for improvement.

Here are some key areas to focus on when measuring the impact of your meeting cadence:

Team productivity and performance

  • Monitor project progress and deliverables to ensure meetings scheduled are facilitating effective collaboration.
  • Track individual and team goals to assess how well your proper meeting cadence supports their achievement.
  • Use productivity metrics, such as completed tasks or cycle times, to gauge the efficiency of your meeting cadence.

Employee engagement and satisfaction

  • Conduct regular surveys or pulse checks to gather feedback on meeting effectiveness and value, including both synchronous and asynchronous meetings.
  • Monitor participation and engagement levels during in-person meetings, one-on-one meetings, and management meetings to ensure they remain high.
  • Assess employee morale and job satisfaction to determine if your meeting culture is contributing to a positive work environment.

Communication and collaboration effectiveness

  • Evaluate the quality and clarity of information shared during meetings, including meeting notes and action items.
  • Assess how well your monthly meeting cadence fosters open dialogue, idea-sharing, and problem-solving among team leaders, direct reports, and individual team members.
  • Monitor the implementation of decisions and action items from meetings to ensure follow-through and achieve the desired outcome.

Time and resource optimization

  • Track the total time employees spend in meetings and compare it to industry benchmarks or company goals.
  • Assess the cost of meetings, including employee time and any associated expenses, to identify opportunities for fewer meetings or shorter meeting lengths.
  • Analyze the impact of ad hoc meetings and unproductive meetings on team productivity and consider ways to minimize their occurrence.

To gather data and insights, consider using a combination of methods, such as:

  • Meeting feedback surveys
  • Employee engagement surveys
  • Project management tools and dashboards
  • Time tracking software
  • Meeting attendance and participation records

Whether you're working with small teams, agile teams, or larger organizations, measuring the impact of your meeting cadence is crucial. As your team and projects evolve, so should your evaluation methods and metrics.

Expert Tips for an Effective Meeting Cadence

effective tips for meeting cadence

By following these best practices, organizations can harness the power of well-structured meetings to enhance productivity:

  1. Assess the Purpose: Understand the objective of each meeting. Is it for strategic planning, progress updates, or creative brainstorming? The purpose will guide the frequency and format.
  2. Seek Team Input: Get feedback from team members about their preferences and suggestions for meeting frequency and length. This ensures buy-in and increases the effectiveness of meetings.
  3. Review and Adjust: Regularly assess the effectiveness of your meeting cadence. Be open to making changes based on team feedback, new projects, or shifts in business strategy.
  4. Prioritize Quality over Quantity: More meetings don’t always mean better communication. Focus on the quality and productivity of each meeting, rather than just the number of meetings.
  5. Use the Right Tools: Leverage technology and meeting management tools to streamline meeting notes, scheduling, agenda setting, and follow-ups. This can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of meetings
  6. Encourage Active Participation: Ensure that meetings are interactive and engaging. Encourage all participants to contribute, and ensure that their time is valued and their input is considered.
  7. Set Clear Agendas and Goals: Preparing the meeting agenda in advance is crucial for every meeting to ensure productive and organized discussions. Every meeting should have a clear agenda and defined goals, determining the meeting duration and emphasizing the importance of this preparation.
  8. Respect Time Commitments: Start and end meetings on time. This shows respect for everyone’s time and helps in maintaining a disciplined approach to meetings.
  9. Document and Follow Up: Keep a record of discussions, decisions, and action items. Ensure follow-ups on action items to maintain accountability and progress.

Meeting Cadence for Remote and Hybrid Teams

meeting cadence for remote teams

With the rise of remote and hybrid work environments, it's essential to adapt your meeting cadence to accommodate the unique challenges and opportunities these settings present. Consider the following strategies:

Leverage technology: Use video conferencing, collaboration tools, and virtual whiteboards to facilitate effective remote meetings.

Be mindful of time zones: Schedule meetings at times that are convenient for all team members, regardless of their location.

Encourage virtual engagement: Use interactive elements like polls, breakout rooms, and collaborative documents to keep remote participants actively involved.

Provide clear guidelines: Establish expectations for virtual meeting etiquette, participation, and communication to ensure a smooth and productive experience for all.

How jamie AI Can Help Optimize Your Meeting Cadence

automate meeting schedule with jamie ai

Implementing and maintaining an effective meeting cadence can be time-consuming and challenging. That's where jamie, the AI meeting assistant, comes in:

By leveraging jamie's capabilities, you can save time, reduce manual effort, and ensure that your meetings are always productive and aligned with your cadence.

Concluding Thoughts: Key Takeaways and Actionable Tips

how to find the right monthly cadence or bi weekly cadence to hold meetings

Establishing the right meeting cadence is crucial for fostering effective collaboration, maintaining alignment, and driving progress within your team. By considering your team's unique needs, leveraging AI tools like jamie, and continuously assessing and refining your approach, you can master the art of meeting cadence and unlock the full potential of your team's productivity and success.

Remember to balance meetings with asynchronous communication, regularly seek feedback from team members, and adapt your cadence as your team and projects evolve.

With a well-defined meeting cadence in place, you'll be able to achieve your goals more efficiently. Embrace the power of effective meetings and watch your team thrive!

🔎 FAQs About Meeting Cadences

How often should I hold team meetings?

The ideal frequency depends on your team's needs and goals. Start with a baseline (e.g., weekly) and adjust based on feedback and results.

What's the optimal duration for each type of meeting?

Meeting duration should align with the meeting's purpose and cadence. Shorter, more frequent meetings (e.g., daily stand-ups) should be 10-15 minutes, while longer, less frequent meetings (e.g., quarterly planning) may require several hours.

How can I ensure that meetings are productive?

Set clear agendas, assign roles and responsibilities, and use meeting management tools like jamie to streamline the process and keep meetings focused and action-oriented.

What if my team's needs change over time?

Regularly assess your meeting cadence and be open to making adjustments as your team and projects evolve. Seek feedback from team members and monitor meeting effectiveness to identify areas for improvement.

How can I balance meetings with asynchronous communication?

Encourage team members to use asynchronous channels for updates, questions, and feedback whenever possible. Reserve meetings for discussions that require real-time collaboration and decision-making.

What is a cadence in business?

In business, cadence refers to the rhythm or frequency of activities, such as meetings, reports, or reviews, that are conducted to maintain alignment, productivity, and communication.

Does cadence mean schedule?

While cadence and schedule are related, they are not the same. Cadence refers to the frequency or rhythm of activities, while a schedule is a plan that outlines the timing and sequence of those activities.

What is a cadence session?

A cadence session is a meeting that occurs at a regular, predetermined frequency to discuss progress, challenges, and next steps for a team or project.

What is "project meeting cadence"?

Project meeting cadence is the frequency and rhythm of meetings specifically related to a project, such as weekly status updates, sprint planning sessions, or project retrospectives, aimed at keeping the project on track and ensuring effective collaboration among team members.

Why is it important for teams to have frequent meetings?

Frequent meetings are important for teams because they provide regular opportunities for communication, alignment, problem-solving, and decision-making. They help keep everyone informed, engaged, and focused on achieving common goals, while also fostering a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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