Wednesday 9 November 2011

Cost of a meeting

This is probably a redundant observation and there's many more scientific calculations out there created by much smarter guys, but here's a formula I found usable.

When you're planning a meeting, take the following things into account:
The people you invited have to prepare themselves before the event (creating slides, taking notes, going through the ticketing system, etc), and repair themselves after the event (coffee, grouping up, bashing something, etc). Empirically I've found that an effect of a meeting could take an hour or two per person.

It goes without a saying, that the net price is the product of the length of the meeting in hours and the hourly rate of each attendant. But in addition, there's the distraction time (described above). Also the happening draws time from delivering values, so that factor should be taken into account as well. Here's my formula.


  • R is the matrix of the hourly rates of the participants, so sum(R) would be the total hourly cost of the people involved.
  • l is the length of the meeting in hours
  • p is the number of people attending, thus R has p elements
  • Alpha is the distraction time in hours. Normally 1 to 3
  • r is the number of remaining issues after the meeting
  • 1+(1/(r+1)) part of the formula makes the cost even higher, if the time spent on the meeting could have been spent on finishing all the remaining tasks.

The r needs some explanation.It stands for "the number of remaining issues after the meeting"

Of course the "remaining issues" and the "issue count" could be replaced by hours, complexity points, or whatever you like. For the demonstration, I'll use remaining issues.

Expanding the value, we get an equation as follows:

  • ir is the number of remaining issues
  • vi is the average issues done in an hour by one person in the team
  • h is the working hours in the day
  • p is the number of people attending
  • P is the number of people in the team

Let's say you are on a 2 week (9 coding days) sprint with a total issue count of 50 with a team of 8 people where you have h as the working hours daily set to 6. That would make:

P = 8;
D = 9;
T = 50; (total issue count)
h = 6;

That would mean:
vi = T/D/h/P = 50/9/6/8 = 0.11574

So when you plan a 2 hour meeting for 4 people when you have let's say 30 issues left,
ir = 30;
And that would make r:

r = ir-(vi*l*P)+(vi*l*p) = 30-(0.11574*2*8)+(0.11574*2*4) = 29.074

You could verify this equation when you send all your people to the meeting, the r be equal to ir:

r = ir-(vi*l*P)+(vi*l*P) = 30-(0.11574*2*8)+(0.11574*2*8) = 30

If everyone on your team earns $50/hour, the cost of this 2 hour meeting with a distraction time of an ideal 1 hour would be,

Cost = (400*(2*1))*(1+(1/(1+30))) = $825.81

1 comment :

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.