Project Management Meetings Top Tips
Every project manager has to schedule meetings, however if not managed efficiently much management time and effort can be wasted. If you have eight people at a meeting and the meeting takes an hour that’s equivalent to a whole day of man power. That’s why it is essential to have a disciplined approach to conducting meetings.
Whether you practice the PRINCE2 or any other project management methodology, these project managment meeting tips will be relevant.
Before you Organise a Project Management Meeting You Should Always:
- Arrange the venue, time, attendees and date, well in advance.
- Only invite those who are essential to the meeting, often the fewer the attendees that more efficient the meeting will be.
- Everyone attending should have the authority and necessary knowledge to be able to make decisions and make valuable contributions.
- Decide on accountability and time limits for each item on the agenda. Put these in writing and distribute the agenda and time-table to attendees.
- Distribute the agenda and any relevant documents well in advance to give attendees time to prepare.
- Arrange for a note taker to act as the Charman’s right hand man or woman, and to take brief, relevant oriented notes throughout the meeting
During the project meeting the chairman should:
- Make sure the meeting starts and finishes on time do not wait for late arrivals.
- Request that attendees switch off their mobile phones.
- Make sure attendees stick to the agenda and time-table; do not let attendees take the meeting off topic, keep the meeting focussed.
- It’s the chairman’s job to encourage full and participative discussions, they may need to ask question to get quieter members to offer opinions.
- If a problem causes too much controversy indicate that the issue should be raised outside of the meeting.
- Make a summary of each agenda item at the end and make sure that agreements and actions are recorded for destitution after the meeting.
- Encourage participants to keep focused and be brief.
- Encourage participants to listen to others and be constructive.
- Encourage a “can do” attitude, and help them to agree realistic plans and actions.
- Encourage them to write down any actions relevant to themselves with dates.
- This is a good time to agree and arrange a date for next meeting if necessary.
- Ask for feedback on the effectiveness of the meeting
What to do after the Project Meeting:
Make notes about any improvements you could make, was the meeting effective? Get the note-taker to write up and distribute the notes to participants and anyone else who will benefit from knowing the outcomes; this should be done no later than 2 days after the meeting. As I mentioned at the beginning, meeting do take a lot of man hours so think about suitable alternatives if the meeting is not absolutely necessary. Can the objectives be met using alternative methods?