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

Project Management Maturity Model

Five maturity levels concept

The concept of a project management maturity model has evolved considerably from the software industry. Where does your organisation sit on the maturity model?

Taming MS Project

Gantt chart and plan

Microsoft Project can become a huge overhead, even for seasoned project managers. This article contains some tips and tricks that will help you tame the tool.

How to Become a Project Manager

Senior lecturer in front of his class

If you're new to project management don't be bamboozled by all the jargon. This article sets out the skills needed to become a competent project manager.

Capturing Those Lessons Learned

Project team reviewing lessons learned

Do you capture your lessons learned? If you do, how effectively do you capture them?

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

Peter Earnshaw commented on…
Pareto Analysis Step by Step
- Tue 4 February 2:03am

Lesiba Matlou commented on…
Writing a Funding Proposal
- Sun 26 January 5:18am

Tim Rumbaugh commented on…
10 Golden Rules of Project Risk Management
- Sat 28 December 6:48pm

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Re: PMP formulas cheat sheet https://t.co/lC4ZSfYPsx about 23 days ago

General Project Management • PMP formulas cheat sheet https://t.co/b4C2fpdWqN about 25 days ago

General Project Management • Implement a new audio and video recording system? https://t.co/SY5tnWhZTu about 29 days ago