Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

How to Run the Most Productive Project Meetings Possible - Part 2

~ By Brad Egeland

Group of four business people in a meeting

In Part 1 of this two-part series on running highly effective and productive project meetings, we discussed the first three of my seven key concepts. Those included creating an agenda, starting and finishing on time, and ending a meeting when it is done.

Now let's look at the final four key concepts for highly productive project meetings.

#4: Don't Repeat Yourself

Avoid rehashing everything for people who come or call in late. If you have to update someone on a key point that has already been discussed in their absence, do so quickly. Moreover, if late arrivals missed their time to discuss their specific tasks, then move them to the end of the line: get back to them after you've gone through the rest of the team. If you have a reputation for being on time with your meetings - something that is, unfortunately, rare these days - then, hopefully, you won't have too many problems with people arriving or calling in late.

#5: Focus on the Purpose of the Meeting

Don't let your project meeting turn into a forum for a few members to hash out detailed design discussions. Those need to occur in another meeting. Try to recognise when the side discussions start to get out of hand, and ask those individuals to call a separate meeting to discuss other topics.

#6: Cancel - but Only if Necessary

If you've set up a meeting but there's nothing new to discuss, or if what you were going to discuss has not happened yet or doesn't make the meeting a necessity like you had first planned, then cancel it. On the flip side, be careful not to do this too often. Otherwise, people will come to expect your scheduled meetings to not happen, and they will either come unprepared or not come at all. I can go either way on this topic. I am a fan of never, ever cancelling a meeting for this very reason…but I do understand the need to not be labeled as a time-waster.

#7: Follow-up to Ensure Clarity

Follow up with a status summary of what was discussed, decisions that were made, action items that were assigned, when things are due, and when the next meeting will be held. Send the summary out via email after the meeting and ask attendees to respond if they see anything incorrect or feel that anything should be added. It is also an option to send out a revised project schedule or an email with a link to view it within your project management collaboration tool. That way, you've essentially documented that everyone is on the same page.

Summary

The bottom line is this: how we plan for, execute, and follow-up on our meetings can say a lot about us professionally. In fact, if you are in a leadership position - and all project managers are - then your ability to run good, productive, meaningful meetings without wasting people's time is huge. You can actually quickly create a very positive - or negative - professional reputation based on your "meeting" management ability. Get it right, and you will get the right information to the right people in your meeting every time, and you will be a better leader and project manager for it.


Comments

Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
Out of 90, 76 or 12, which is the largest?
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

So You Want to Be a Project Manager

Businessman smiling with hands together

Not sure what skills it takes to become a Project Manager? This article lists the six key skills required to be a successful project manager.

Project Management Checklists

Checklist

Checklists are underused in the planning and managing of projects. Here is a high level twelve-point checklist for use during project planning.

Building Teamwork

Business colleagues arranging multicoloured labels on a meeting table

Teamwork isn't something that just happens. The project leader needs to put in the time and effort to build the team and help everyone get along. Here's how.

72 Project Management Tips

Hand holding a key with success written on the fob

Here are 72 project management tips designed to help you lead your projects with skill, authority and grace.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Sean B commented on…
MoSCoW Method
- Thu 19 September 1:42pm

Brian Cassidy commented on…
RACI Matrix
- Sat 14 September 11:38am

Dalia Eldardiry commented on…
Introduction to Project Management
- Sun 1 September 6:42pm

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Re: EPCM abbreviation question https://t.co/az3s6uPT6B about 2 days ago

RT @Capterra_UK: Check out our list of the best #ProjectManagement tools for UK SME:  https://t.co/n2Sc0wEjOE @ProjectSmart@asana @evern… about 5 days ago

General Project Management • Re: What content to include in a status report? https://t.co/oJhRQ9lQaJ about 5 days ago