What is a Jour fixe, which rules apply and what tips exist?
Jour fixe – a regular meeting at a fixed time
Communication is very important for organisations. A Jour fixe is a regular meeting of a group of people, in which mostly the same important topics are discussed.
The translation of jour fixe from French is “fixed day”. On a fixed day – for example, on the first Friday of every month or every day at 7:30 a.m. – the participating persons meet to exchange ideas. A jour fixe is therefore a recurring meeting at periodic times. Interestingly, in English we usually speak of a “regular meeting” instead of a jour fixe.
Rules for Jour fixes
The Jour fixe is also described as regular communication. This makes sense, because on the one hand communication takes place very regularly, and on the other hand there are some very easily understandable rules that contribute to success:
- A Jour fixe does not require an invitation, because the circle of participants is identical. For example, the executive board of an organisation meets every morning to discuss the situation or the development team meets daily for the Daily Scrum.
- There is no need to agree on a subsequent appointment with potential participants, because all dates are fixed in advance due to the agreed rotation. All that is needed is an initial appointment and all subsequent appointments are fixed. Common jour fixe cycles are daily, once a week, monthly or once a quarter.
- A jour fixe does not require a separate agenda. While an agenda is very important for a specifically planned and scheduled meeting and provides orientation, this is rarely necessary for a jour fixe. The course of the meeting and the topics discussed are similar or even identical:
+ What is the project status?
+ Which problems need to be solved?
+ What are the economic figures?
Open issues can of course also be discussed.
- The preparation of minutes with discussed contents, open points and agreements varies in organisations. Some organisations do without them, others attach importance to them.
- Participation in the Jour fixe is mandatory for the defined group of people. If a participant is unable to attend, a deputy should ideally attend. Alternatively, the findings of the meeting should be communicated separately.
- Whether guests are allowed to participate in the Jour fixe or not must be determined within the organisation.
- The Jour fixe takes place not only at the same time but also at the same place.
- The jour fixe does not only take place at the same time, but also at the same place. In the course of digitalisation, many companies now hold their regular meetings via video conference from their home offices.
Tips for conducting a jour fixe
In addition to the few rules that promote continuous exchange, organisations should clarify separate issues and rules in advance:
- Are all (and especially new) participants aware of the aim of the exchange?
- Do all participants know what information they need to prepare for the meeting?
- How long does the meeting last and who ensures that the timebox is observed? Once all the information has been exchanged, the meeting can of course end before the agreed duration. If more time is needed, e.g. because creative ideas need to be developed, a separate meeting should be arranged.
- Who moderates the meeting and is there a minute-taker?
- Will the results be made available to the participants in writing afterwards?
- How are discussed tasks followed up?
- Is the use of mobile phones and other aids permitted during the meeting?
If these questions and rules are clarified in advance, nothing stands in the way of a successful implementation. It is easy to realise the various advantages of a jour fixe, such as the focus on topics and goals, the high attendance rate of participants, the insights gained, the good information basis for possible decisions and the efficiency of continuous exchange.
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Here you can find a German video on Jour fixe.
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