Meetings2023-09-14

Hatica: Your Engineering Team’s Copilot To Fight Meeting Creep

Reduce meeting creep for good with Hatica. Discover data-driven insights to reclaim maker time, and unleash productivity.
Hatica: Your Engineering Team’s Copilot To Fight Meeting Creep

Meeting creep is real- there’s no two doubts about that. As we keep on finding new avenues to connect, and work together in remote models, our calendars get crippled with numerous hour-long calls, and status updates, leaving little room for deep work. 

PS: Not all meetings are inefficient, or unproductive; for most part of the last decade, they have served as an intersection of diverse ideas, inclusivity, and building powerful roadmaps for visionary products. Our focus is to cut down on data-deficient, insight-less meetings that derail engineering teams from doing their best work and delivering engineering excellence.

For engineering teams, one-third of meetings are nothing but a strain on their productivity- thanks to lack of workflow visibility and inability to indulge in data-driven conversations. Back to back context switching from one call to another puts developers in a tight spot, often sacrificing their active coding hours, and grooming time. 

We are not surprised that developers and engineering teams continuously complain about inability to focus on deep-work or get into the flow state. As of now, developers only code 33% of their time, with the major chunk going into attending meetings and other tertiary activities. 

Did we also mention the toil of refocusing on your core items? Getting back to your deep work state requires atleast uninterrupted 25 minutes– a rare luxury in our present world of constant meeting creep.

This absence of contextual data during meetings restrains engineering teams from making a major impact at work. Developers frequently grapple with technostress and Zoom fatigue, often spiraling into chronic burnout, and even fueling (or having played its own sheer role) the Great Software Resignation. 

The business impact of unproductive meetings is equally appalling. In the States alone, businesses lose around $37 billion to meeting creep. 

Another report by Bloomberg shows how meeting fatigue costs $25,000 per employee– taking the annual figure to $101 million for large-sized engineering organizations. Shopify, the eCom giant was also quick to realize how unnecessary meetings were costing 320,000+ man hours, and millions of dollars. Now the company is devising ways to bring precision into meetings, while culling excess quantity.  

Following the Shopify example, the future of meetings tied with engineering work doesn’t look as bleak as the present. It is not a challenge that cannot be fixed at all. Sigh! 

The next great leap in meeting management is engineering analytics. And that is precisely where Hatica comes into play. 

Armed with contextual data, and actionable insights, Hatica helps engineering teams reduce meeting FOMO, unclog calendars, and find their deep work state, all while reducing any developmental strains that can weigh down developers.

Here’s how Hatica tackles meeting creep for engineering teams:   

1. Engineering Analytics to Run Powerful, and Productive Meetings 

Meetings are a high-octane reminder that engineering leadership cares about every developer. Engineering 1:1s by managers equally contribute in understanding an IC’s work, invest in their growth, and flag workflow bottlenecks before they become emergencies.   

Data’s role in leading engineering conversations is already much stated- It makes discussions twice as effective, while cutting efforts by 80%. 

Hatica leverages this team data to run productive meetings. Here’s how we empower engineering teams in cutting unnecessary calls, and stay productive: 

  • Visualize engineering progress, and developer contributors to the overall development lifecycle, without any manual intervention, and need for constant status updates
  • Run meaningful 1:1s that celebrate your engineering team’s efforts, balance investments, and work allocation, while staying on top of all your project deliverables
  • Effective, and impactful cross-functional collaboration between product, and engineering teams. A 360 degree view into engineering efforts incentivizes PMs to align with engineering teams seamlessly, without constant back-and-forth during sprint planning meetings.
  • Reduce data sprawl that might later spiral into information overlook, low engagement, and cognitive fatigue
  • Create agenda-driven meetings fueled with traceable goals, actionable insights, and confidence to operate in face of adversities (Downtime, or security vulnerabilities)
  • This data-driven visibility automatically eliminates excessive meetings by offering more context into engineering work, and empowering devs to work with autonomy, without micromanagement.   
  • Ultimately, the idea is for engineering leaders to move beyond guesswork, and work towards the larger picture– eliminate redundancies, and blockers in your SDLC. 

With Hatica’s work analytics, it becomes easier for your team to reflect on short, and long-term progress, project vision, immediate goals, and roadmap for individual contributor’s growth. That way, you can easily acknowledge good work, celebrate impactful contributions, and reduce recency bias- all while streamlining developer workflow. 

2. Async Standups To Reduce Meeting Overload 

Standups are meant to remove development blockers, and flag team frictions. However, here’s a reality check: Over the last few years, standups have shrunk into just another status update meeting, with no real value to your engineering team. 

The regular morning standups often come at the expense of:

  • Deep work hours
  • Undocumented, and monotonous updates
  • Depersonalization of engineering bottlenecks 
  • The Brevity vs Detail dilemma where devs find it challenging to address blockers, and send updates– all in a few minutes span. 
  • Distorting the natural peak productivity hours of most of your ICs.  

Majority of these standup calls are dominated by off-topic discussions, frequency overload, and ineffective communication- adding to one more ineffective meeting in your team’s calendar.  

To overcome any, and every challenge posed by traditional standups, we are introducing our async standups. 
Hatica was built by engineers for engineers, and truly understands the need, and necessities for developers. Our async standups serves as a powerful reminder of what engineering teams are capable to achieve when given autonomy to work without frequent interruptions. 

Hatica check-ins equips engineering teams with workflow visibility, day to day action items, team pulse, and developer workload- all at a centralized space. 

Hatica integrates with a team’s VCS, issue tracker, and communication tools to ensure automated work updates so your ICs will never have to leave their core tasks to attend just another meeting. 

Moreover, these check-in reports are automated, and easily synced with a team’s dedicated communication channel- Slack, Teams, and more.

Hatica check-in Slack reports

Not only it reduces developer toil, but also creates a global first approach for teams to communicate their to-do lists, and work vision. The geography-agnostic feature allows devs to fill their work updates at their comfort. 

Besides, these documented standups are a chance for your team to share their work items without disrupting their flow state, even helping them provide more thoughtful, and well-structured updates. 

Data pulled from async standups can also create targeted conversations for weekly catch ups between tech leads, and ICs. It is truly a radical chance for engineering teams to switch from process to results– empowering your team to share achievements, and progress, rather than just reporting activities. 

3. Cut Distractions. Consolidate Meetings. Embrace a Maker Schedule 

Attending meetings without break creates "time poverty" for your developers, often leading to a constant guilt of not getting work done. They might feel like having too many things in their to-do list, but not enough time. 

The #1 action plan to overcome this constant lingering is to know how, and where you spend your time. This is a question that we at Hatica are striving to answer for all engineering teams globally. 

We realize the freedom that comes with managing your own schedule, where you have the power to declutter your workspace, combine all communications, and block deep work hours while enrolling everyone on your team. 

That’s what our maker time dashboard is all about. 

Hatica's maker time dashboard

Hatica’s maker time is built in a way to reduce engineering distractions, so devs can have their uninterrupted flow state. 

Insights from the dashboard help engineering teams to: 

  • Block constant, and steady hours for deep work without submitting to the ‘always on’ culture 
  • Control time spent in meetings, and create a balance between all core communications: meetings, 1:1s, and interview load.
  • Visualize activity heatmap to understand where most of devs time is being spent, and reverse broken schedules  
  • Achieve no-meeting days in a week to further improve engagement, autonomy, and overall satisfaction of engineering teams
  • Transform your scattered schedule by consolidating fragmented meetings and complemented by team visibility for smarter scheduling.

Hatica’s communication analytics
  • Preempt burnout that might stem from frequent context switching, and unproductive meetings 

Global engineering teams are undergoing massive transformation by going async, and promoting maker time in their remote teams.  

Silicon Valley’s Amenify is a living proof of how teams armed with actionable data can revolutionize the way engineering teams work, and deliver. 

With Hatica, the team achieved a 55% uptick in maker time, while boosting productivity, and streamlining operations. Read more about Amemify’s transformation.   

Besides, majority of our customers have defeated meeting creep by adopting:

Two meeting-free days a week, and running 30% less unproductive meetings. 

Unlock True Meeting Management With Hatica 

At Hatica, we're not here to wage a war on meetings, nor are we out to reinvent the wheel.

Rather, we want to create a shared space fueled by data, and engineering insights so engineering work is recognized, and celebrated, while meetings become more meaningful, and productive. 

Our engineering analytics platform promises to refocus engineering teams from “routine, and repetitive” to “strategic, and unique.” The impacts are going to be massive, as and when businesses scale. 

This is just the beginning, and meeting creep is a never ending spiral. We continue to innovate our global communication analytics to support our customers in their battle against meeting madness, and meet current, and emerging needs, so engineering teams can focus on what they do best– Build impactful products. 

Discover more about how Hatica helps teams overcome meeting creep, and boost productivity. Request a demo here→

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Table of Contents
  • 1. Engineering Analytics to Run Powerful, and Productive Meetings 
  • 2. Async Standups To Reduce Meeting Overload 
  • 3. Cut Distractions. Consolidate Meetings. Embrace a Maker Schedule 
  • Unlock True Meeting Management With Hatica 

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Overview dashboard from Hatica