Help & FAQ

Asynchronous Meetings

What are asynchronous meetings?

Asynchronous meetings are, like traditional meetings, usually organized to discuss issues and make decisions, but are very different in the way they take place.

In an asynchronous meeting, people never meet at a certain time and place but instead discuss the topics online by leaving notes for each other. People can join the online discussions whenever they have time. It’s more like messaging but structured and a decision-making component can be added to each topic.

Asynchronous meetings typically run over multiple days to allow people to join in several times and contribute to the discussions and voting.

Today, where more and more communication is happening asynchronously through chat and messaging apps and people do smaller chunks of focused work at a time that is convenient for them, asynchronous meetings will often be more efficient and can become an important decision-making tool for your organization.

*This feature is available from Standard plan upwards.

What can we do with an asynchronous meeting?

You can use asynchronous meetings for many different purposes. For instance, to prepare for your regular scheduled meeting, you could setup an asynchronous meeting the week before and add a few discussion items so people can start to get familiar with the topics and explore different solutions. Members can post their ideas, links to resources, etc. so people are well prepared for the meeting.

The more experienced you become at using asynchronous meetings, the more you will be able to achieve with them. You can start to add decision items with a voting component and make decisions without ever actually being in a meeting room. At some point, asynchronous meetings might replace many of the regular face-to-face meetings allowing members to be more productive within their busy schedule and freeing up time do to things they really enjoy!

When does an asynchronous meeting start and end?

An asynchronous meeting always has a begin and end time. You can schedule a meeting to start in the future or you can start the meeting manually whenever you are ready. When the meeting starts, mycommittee will automatically send a notification email to all members with a link to the meeting. 
From that time onwards, the meeting is available and members can start to add comments and vote. 

The same is true for the end time. You can provide a scheduled end time for the meeting or you can stop the meeting at any time manually. When the meeting is stopped, members will no longer be able to add comments or vote. The meeting and all comments will still be accessible in read-only mode.

What is a meeting moderator?

The moderator has full admin access to the meeting and will be able to moderate (edit or delete) member comments and can also manually stop the meeting. The moderator is usually also the person that will summarize the discussions after the meeting and publish the meeting summary.

Is there a meeting agenda?

Yes, like any good meeting, an asynchronous meeting needs an agenda. A brand new agenda wizard let's you create an asynchronous meeting agenda in a few minutes. Because users are on their own, we focused lot on the user experience and made the meetings extremely easy to use. Agendas are simple list of items and each item clearly indicates the type and the expected actions from the user. We recommend to keep asynchronous meetings simple with a short list of agenda items to get maximum participation from your users.

What type of items can I add to the agenda?

Currently we support discussion and decision items. (we are working on other types for a future release)

1. A discussion item allows members to post comments and discuss a topic. When the meeting has ended, the moderator can summarize the key discussion points. 

2. A decision item is basically a vote. We currently support 'Single answer' and 'Ranking' votes. By default, a decision item allows discussion as well so users can discuss and vote at the same time. The discussion component can be disabled when you just need a simple vote.

What is the difference between a single answer and ranking vote?

The decision item currently supports two types of votes:

1. Multiple choice - Single answer: Members will only be able to select one choice of the available choices. This type of vote will show as a list of radio buttons and the user can select one choice only.

2. Ranking: With this type of vote, members can rank the choices by their preference. All choices will show as a list of boxes. Users can just click and drag the choices in the preferred order.

Can users vote more than once?

Each user has only one vote but users are able to change their votes any time until the meeting is stopped. Once the meeting is stopped, users can still see their own vote but won't be able to make any changes.

How are ranking votes calculated?

The score of a ranking vote is a weighted calculation. Items ranked first are given a higher weight and the score for each answer is the sum of all the weighted values. The weight values are dynamically determined by the number of choices.

For example, if you have 4 choices, the choice ranked highest gets a weight of 4, the next one 3 and so on. If you had 5 choices, the highest ranked item would get a weight of 5 and so on down to 1.

The table below shows how the score is calculated for each choice (row)

Total responses Weight Score
Rank 1 count x 4 =
Rank 2 count x 3 =
Rank 3 count x 2 =
Rank 4 count x 1 =
+ Total score for choice X

Can all members see the results of a vote?

When the meeting is in progress, users can only view and change their own vote. Once the meeting is stopped, the results are calculated and the meeting is now in read-only mode. Users can still only view their own vote at this time. The meeting organizer/moderator can already see the detailed results of each vote and can provide a summary of each item on the agenda. Once the summary is published, all members can view the detailed results of each decision item.

All members will receive an email notification once the summary is published. 

Can I change the voting choices?

Yes, you can add or delete choices or choose one of the available templates. To quickly build your own list of choices, click on 'clear all'. This will remove all the current choices so you can start with a fresh list. After that, just enter your choices one by one. You can easily change the order by dragging the choices to the correct position.

Can I create my own default voting choices?

Yes, the decision item supports choices templates. You can create your own template by clicking on 'Manage templates'. On this page you can edit/delete existing templates or create a new template by simply entering all possible choices separated by semi-colons. You can create as many templates as you like and you can set one of the templates as the 'Default'. Each time you create a decision item, the default choices will be pre-populated automatically.

Can I still change the meeting topics while a meeting is in progress?

Although it is not recommended, some parts of a meeting can still be modified after the meeting started. Once a decision item has received one or more votes, the choices can no longer be modified.(This would render the vote(s) invalid).

When major parts need to be updated when the meeting is already in progress, we suggest to stop the meeting and simply create a new one.

Can I send meeting reminders?

When an asynchronous meeting is in progress, mycommittee will send a daily reminder to all participants automatically. The reminder email will also provide a brief summary or the last day's activities. Participants will get a special reminder on the last day of the meeting so they have an opportunity to make sure that discussions are wrapped up and all votes are in.

What happens after the meeting?

When a meeting is stopped, users will still be able to see the full discussions and their own votes but can no longer make any changes. The moderator will receive a notification that the meeting has ended and the summary can be created. Voting results will be automatically calculated.

The moderator can optionally add a summary to each agenda item (E.g. a brief summary highlighting the key discussion points) and when ready, publish the meeting summary.

Once the summary is published, all members will receive an email notification and will now have access to the meeting summary. The summary will contain all item information including the full discussion, summary and detailed voting results.

Can I delete an agenda item after the meeting?

Individual items cannot be deleted. You can delete an entire meeting and that will delete all information related to this meeting permanently.

You can edit the summary of an agenda item any time until the summary of the meeting is marked 'Approved'. After that, the meeting will be locked and no changes can be made.

Are decisions stored and can I get a list?

Yes, all members can browse through all decisions ever made in reverse chronological order or do a search to find exactly the one they're looking for. All history (participants, discussions, summary and voting details) will be available for as long as you want!
All new decisions will be added to the list once the summary of the meeting is published.

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