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)



 
1500
Type the word for the number 9.
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Tracking a Risk

Dial showing three levels of risk management

Risk management is a vital part of project management. Learn four key steps to help you evaluate and mitigate any risks on your project.

Project Planning Essentials

Tablet computer with project manager app and documents with Gantt and financial charts

Planning a project requires putting a series of tasks in order and determining dependencies between them. In practice it's never so straightforward.

Belbin and Successful Project Teams

Business team brainstorming using coloured labels on an office table

Creating successful project teams is a daunting task for project leaders. A good method for matching people to roles is the Belbin Team Inventory Method (BTIM).

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

Samara Grantham commented on…
12 Tips for Being a Good Manager
- Thu 1 December 2:46pm

Adolfina commented on…
Introduction to Project Management
- Mon 21 November 9:52am

Edward Brown commented on…
Project Status Reports Everyone Can Understand
- Wed 16 November 3:38pm

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Re: Project Resource Challenges https://t.co/P5EYYQRLNE #projectsmart #pmot about 10 hours ago

General Project Management • Re: Prioritising Change Requests https://t.co/H7HUyTPAfs #projectsmart #pmot about 10 hours ago

Business Book Reviews • Re: Project Management Booklist https://t.co/uZ1kSXN7OR #projectsmart #pmot about 22 hours ago