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Expensive Thoughts


The time investment of a meeting is the meeting time itself plus 30 minutes. If you stop working on an engineering task to attend a meeting, the context switch to get back to full productive engineering mode can take a long time - 30 minutes is a reasonable average for this cost. Thus if you have a one-hour meeting with five engineers, each of whom makes $50/hour, the company is paying $375 for that meeting, not $250 (which was already expensive).




Expensive Thoughts



There are a few takeaways from this, but the main point to make here is: Avoid having meetings if possible because they are expensive. Often controlled and directed asynchronous communication can adequately replace a meeting, for a much lower cost. So usually when we first think, "Should we have a meeting?" we should counter that with, "Can we address this effectively without a meeting?"


Finally, obviously meetings are super helpful when time is of the essence. If the conversation could be had asynchronously but we just do not have enough wall-clock time available, holding a meeting may be preferable in order to get to results quickly. An extreme example of this is a CSO war room - a meeting that is extremely expensive but is held anyway because time is of the essence.


This is a common practice I see in agile development, Scrum in particular - which is one of the major concerns I have about dogmatic adherence to the agile structure without any real understanding of the process and the components of the process. For example, consider a stand-up meeting - one of the most expensive meetings we hold, because a) it is held daily, b) every team member must attend, and c) it is short, so the ratio of context switching time to actual meeting time is high. The purpose of this meeting is to accomplish at least two primary things: First, to ensure the team is on track to accomplish the sprint goal and make any necessary corrections to accomplish this goal; Second, to identify and unblock anything that is stopping someone's progress. Yet overwhelmingly teams seem to use this meeting as a status meeting, with each member checking out until it is their turn to report a vague status while everyone else ignores them. The main point in this meeting instead is to make sure your status doesn't take too long to give so the meeting can be over in 15 minutes. But such an approach completely disregards the team's purpose for holding the meeting in the first place. The result is that most team members seem to feel like stand-up is a waste of time. And, to be fair, getting together to give a meaningless status report, solve nothing, and be done in 15 minutes (45 minutes of cost once you add the context switch) is honestly a colossal waste of time.


Note: Regarding meetings that shouldn't have been held, this happens probably less often than you think. People in leadership positions are quite aware that meetings are expensive, so if they are holding a meeting they already think it is worth the investment. If an individual contributor calls a meeting, you can expect that at a minimum the subject matters to them. So often it is just that the meeting is unorganized or unclear. Ask the question so you can become informed on the purpose of the meeting, so you can participate properly.


We used to think that arbitration was less expensive than taking your dispute to the courts. However, this month, Public Citizen -- a nonprofit advocacy organization -- issued a report that indicated that arbitration may be more expensive for consumers and employees than using the courts.


Many years ago, I was a strong advocate of the arbitration process. Over the years, however, I have changed my mind. I used to think that arbitration was less expensive than having to find a lawyer to take your case to court, but the recent Public Citizen study is of concern to me.


It 100% is too expensive.When I was a kid, we had a family if 6 (parents and 4 kids). We went to Disney once per year.We would get 5 day park hopper for $275. Now yhat is nearly the cost for a single day. If I was a kid now, my parents could never afford to go to Disney.


Rounding out our list of the best expensive gifts is this quirky pick that's perfect for that one friend that's always camping. They'll love taking this portable and smokeless fire pit on their next getaway.


Forget about the price when choosing technology. All too often, the nominal price, and the invoice that follows, determines our choice in tech. The consequence is a polluted decision-making basis that rarely harmonizes with the ambition behind.It is expensive to buy too cheap!


Price is something we all understand. For most physical products, we seem to understand and accept that there are different price levels. For example, when it comes to cars a Renault is cheaper than a Bentley, even though they both solve the same purpose. Or when it comes to designer furniture, we understand that Arne Jacobsen is more expensive than similar functionality in IKEA.


Leather, antique brass, and crystal feel luxe in comparison to their cheaper alternatives, and you can often score them on Facebook Marketplace or at antique stores. The end result when pulling those materials together creates the feeling that your house is luxurious and expensive too. 041b061a72


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