I'm the lead programmer turned project manager in a small shop. Our project has entered "the last 90%" phase where many things need to be communicated between different departments. This means many more meetings than during the initial development phase. Most of these spring up as impromptu meetings whenever the CEO feels the need to communicate something, which is usually when I'm trying to concentrate on something entirely different and am least prepared for them. These meetings are less effective than they could be and they eat into my productivity.
What's a good rule of thumb to schedule meetings? Is it better to stick to rigidly scheduled meetings every day or week, even when there's nothing to say, or should meetings be scheduled with an advance notice whenever there is something to say? How do you suppress non-time-critical impromptu meetings, especially when they come from above?