5 Ps of a meeting – ensuring your next meeting is effective

April 6, 2018

by Kapil Ramani

As consultants we love problems that exists everywhere –across teams, organizations and industries. Such problems are dear to us because we would have experience addressing these problems on multiple occasions using various tools. This helps us quickly solve problem for the client and who does not like a quick effective solution!

One such problem, that is prevalent everywhere, is ineffective meetings. And as with any prevalent problem there are multiple solutions to address the issue. One of the most efficient solutions that I have come across for this problem is what is called ‘the 5Ps for the meeting’. I especially like this solution because it not only is easy to implement but it also has an ability to prevent an ineffective meeting happening at the first place.

So, what are the 5Ps? The 5Ps are Purpose, Participants, Process, Payoff and Preparation (some suggest it should be 6Ps including Pizza).

Purpose: Every meeting should have a purpose and it has to better than just a subject line calling for a ‘daily meeting’ (why should the team meet daily?)

Participants: Listing the participants makes the invitee think about who they are inviting and why they are inviting them. The invitee doesn’t have to list the name in the body of the invite, but nevertheless should make a conscious decision about who are the part of the meeting.

Process: How are we going to run this meeting? What is the agenda and what is the time per agenda item? This is key, because this is where the meeting organizer thinks about the time that he needs for the meeting. This helps the team stay away from setting meetings in 30 minute chunks just because that is the norm.

Payoff: What does organizer want to accomplish at the end of the meeting. This should be specific so that the meeting participants can be held accountable.

Preparation: What preparation is need from the participants (helps the meeting organizer to revisit the payoff and right size the participants)

Ensuring every meeting invite has the 5Ps listed is one of the easiest ways to have an effective meeting and in my opinion is the best preparation anyone can do to organize an effective meeting.