MeetingBooster Improves the Discussion Culture at Securiton
Matthias BohnertCorporate Development Project Manager
Securiton GmbH is a medium-sized company of 340 employees operating in the field of alarm and security systems. Whether for industry, public facilities or private properties, Securiton plans, installs and maintains comprehensive security systems. Securiton GmbH belongs to the Swiss Securitas Group, which brings together more than 20 companies across Europe and numbers around 8,800 employees.
Matthias Bohnert, the author of this case study, is involved in the development of internal company standards, dealing with topics such as process optimization as well as the strategic orientation of the company. It is as part of this brief that a project was initiated to optimize the company’s meeting management process.
The inspection of the meeting management process followed up to now at Securiton GmbH made it clear that there is a need to differentiate between the meeting preparation, implementation and follow-up phases.
The meeting preparation and follow-up phases were controlled by the MS Outlook calendar and e-mail functions. Agendas, attendee lists and minutes were sent via these services. Once scheduled successfully, meetings were added to each attendee’s MS Outlook calendar and structured in accordance with the agenda. The relevant meeting roles, such as note-taker and moderator, were defined within this framework. Other than that, the performance of a particular meeting depended mostly on the people involved. Topic timings and preparatory tasks were not always necessarily defined. The following diagram illustrates the current meeting process at Securiton GmbH.
Figure 1: Current meeting process at Securiton GmbH
When examining the process represented above, it becomes clear that each meeting involved many manual steps. This led to several issues, which are discussed in more detail below.
For what kind of meeting do you use MeetingBooster?
We use MeetingBooster for our weekly management meetings, bimonthly production meetings and QSE/CHSCT committee meetings.
What Particular Problems Did We Have to Solve?
The meeting process described above created various issues for Securiton GmbH:
- The use of MS Outlook for the transmission of agendas and minutes filled the participants’ mailboxes relatively quickly, which resulted in important information becoming hidden.
- The tracking of agenda items and relevant tasks was not carried out consistently using MS Outlook reminders.
- To schedule a meeting, the organizer often had to view several calendars, a time-consuming operation requiring a lot of coordination.
- The implementation of the actual meeting did not adhere to particular standards or rules.
- Meetings without agendas did not have clear targets or timings.
What Were the Objectives of MeetingBooster Implementation?
The objectives of the introduction of MeetingBooster as a meeting management tool were not limited to tangible factors such as cost and time savings, but extended to more qualitative ones. One of those primary non-quantitative goals was to bring more efficiency to the meeting organization process by defining standards to be adopted by everyone involved during the planning, implementation and follow-up phases of the meetings. These guidelines would for instance require that the agenda and schedule be adhered to consistently. We were also keen to reduce the number of non-value-creating meetings. In addition, we wanted MeetingBooster to help us optimize task distribution and tracking, thus ensuring that the tasks arising from the meetings would be communicated more clearly and that relevant responsibilities would be assigned in order to achieve the desired efficiency improvements.
As described above, the objectives pursued by Securiton GmbH with the introduction of a tool to optimize the meeting process covered all three phases of the meeting process, i.e. preparation, execution and follow-up. As MeetingBooster was able to support Securiton GmbH in all three phases and also proved particularly easy to use, the decision was made to adopt it.
The use of MeetingBooster as meeting management tool has delivered a number of advantages to Securiton GmbH, including strategic, organizational and financial benefits.
Since the complex security technology environment the company operates in demands a high level of communication, Securiton GmbH is actively involved with its customers. To support such a strong customer relationship, face to face conversations are essential to ensure optimal communications. MeetingBooster’s professional agendas and minutes also enhance the image presented by the company to the customer. Securiton GmbH strives to achieve maximum customer focus, and this can be optimized with the help of MeetingBooster.
For Securiton GmbH, customer security, including data protection, is of the utmost importance. With MeetingBooster, it is possible to define authorization hierarchies that ensure that only employees participating in a particular project are allowed to view the meeting minutes and associated tasks.
MeetingBooster has introduced a fundamental change in the company’s meeting culture by formalizing and standardizing processes. The system provides the attendees with all the necessary information about the meeting. From the outset, meeting preparation is simplified by using MeetingBooster tools such as the meeting conflict detector and the professional agenda templates and editing features. During the actual meeting, the note-taking process is greatly optimized, being directly linked to task management in Outlook and triggering the automatic creation of the meeting minutes. Furthermore, MeetingBooster includes helpful tools that can be used freely during the meeting, letting you for instance vote on particular ideas or park topics for a later discussion.
As a result, minute-taking and task management have become more efficient. A further advantage resides in the archiving of the agendas and minutes. With an easy-to-use search function, the meeting and its contents can be accessed and viewed as often as required as soon as it is over.
Although the financial advantages have not yet been analyzed quantitatively as a meaningful measurement of cost savings due to optimization is extremely complex, a qualitative analysis has been carried out.
On the basis of a survey amongst the company’s employees, the following time-saving benefits have been evidenced by the introduction of MeetingBooster:
- Reduction of the duration of the meeting planning phase
- Reduction of the time spent on meetings
- Fewer meetings needed
- Less time required to create the meeting minutes
- Less time spent on meeting minutes searches
- More efficient task processing
- All these time savings have led to a considerable cost reduction of the entire meeting process.
The introduction of MeetingBooster obliged us to consider change management at the outset. MeetingBooster required a change in the discussion culture which in turn demanded more discipline on the employees’ part. However once these initial hurdles were mastered, MeetingBooster was willingly accepted by the employees and the company was able to achieve its goals. Consequently, our meeting process is now entirely reliant on MeetingBooster. Moreover, even though meeting management tools do not usually handle the administrative side of operations, MeetingBooster also meets all expectations in this area. Of particular interest to us are the meeting scheduling conflict detector and the fully automated task management system with its MS Outlook support. To conclude, Securiton GmbH would be pleased to recommend MeetingBooster to anyone as a worthy meeting management tool.
Matthias BohnertCorporate Development Project Manager
MeetingBooster has greatly improved the quality of our change management meetings by drastically reducing the time we spend preparing pre-meeting material, in-meeting material, and post-meeting material. Simply put, I won’t run a meeting without MeetingBooster!
MeetingBooster as meeting management tool has delivered a number of advantages to Securiton.