Meeting management tools
Working with stakeholders of an integrated justice information system necessarily means bringing individuals with contrasting viewpoints into the same room and trying to reach consensus.
Working with stakeholders of an integrated justice information system necessarily means bringing individuals with contrasting viewpoints into the same room and trying to reach consensus. Bringing together people of differing viewpoints and learning from participants variety of backgrounds has been the most fulfilling part of my career. The purpose of this page is to provide some guidance on how to facilitate the types of privacy discussions that can help justice agencies develop sound policies that anticipate the potential privacy harms of new information systems.
Convening any meeting carries with it a substantial amount of baggage. Everyone has attended meetings that were poorly planned, even more poorly executed, and accomplished absolutely nothing worthwhile. The following recommendations and examples are provided to help justice agencies overcome common obstacles to facilitating productive meetings. The recommendations have the added benefit of increasing the level of participant involvement and encouraging frank and open conversations.
1. Understand the goals of each meeting before it is called.
Productive meetings are called for a number of reasons, including: (1) to convey information to participants; (2) to gather information from participants; (3) to answer participants questions; (4) to make decisions as a group; and (5) to brainstorm. Understand these goals and communicate them to meeting participants when they are invited. The most effective way to communicate goals to participants is to develop a detailed agenda.
2. Prepare to facilitate a productive meeting.
The vast majority of the work that goes into any meeting takes place before it is even called. When privacy issues are the focus of a meeting, it is best to identify, in advance, each stakeholder groups primary concerns. The best way to do this is by meeting with each groups representatives individually. Then, when the stakeholders convene at the meeting, the facilitator is able to better focus the conversation and achieve the goals of the meeting.
3. Set concrete objectives and outcomes.
4. Respect everyone's time.
Holding endless, unproductive meetings is a sure way to alienate participants. Acknowledge early on that meeting participants are invited for their expertise and experience. These are valuable assets that need to be respected. Set a two-hour time limit for meetings. This makes the facilitator run an efficient meeting while allowing some time for thoughtful discussion. Announce meetings at least three weeks in advance and coordinate with members when choosing a meeting date.
- MeetingWizard.com is an invaluable tool for coordinating and calling meetings.
5. Break down complex information into easier to digest information without sacrificing detail.
- Incident-based crime analysis
- Taxonomy of Privacy summary
- Lessons to be learned from MATRIX
- Data mining articles
6. Make meetings productive, interesting, and fun; break the mold.
Break the mold of the typical government meeting. Experiment with new room arrangements and develop meeting materials that are informative yet entertaining. Seek creative ways to present information to or obtain information from participants. Design presentations to get members to let their guard down a little, to ease tension, and to fight boredom.
- So you hired an axe murderer
- Access and Review Quiz
- Why Johnny cant read the Illinois expungement statute
- What weve been up to
- Privacy headlines
7. Follow up on questions raised and decisions made during meetings.