A project manager might host a weekly status meeting that runs two hours. That equals a full day of work each month, for just a single meeting.
What’s more, according to The Project Management Report survey of 220 PMs, nearly 60% of project managers are running between two and five projects simultaneously. (About 15% said they run more than 10 projects at a time!) This means a project manager running three projects, each with its own weekly status meeting of 1.5 hours, spends more than two working days (18 hours) a month just in their project status meetings.
The secret to successful project meetings?
Streamline and automate as many elements of the meeting as possible so they became enablers – instead of detractors – of the project.
Here we offer a few tips to get you started:
Tip 1: Do leverage meeting technology
In the Project Management Report survey referenced above, 11% of respondents wished they could get rid of the overhead of meetings and a further 11% said chasing the team for updates was top of the list of things they wanted to ditch.
Meeting technology – like Decisions – gives you agenda builders, minutes based on the agenda in a single click, and task tracking that automatically syncs to your project management tool, like Planner. It automates, and therefore reduces, the volume of many meeting administration tasks. Even better, they allow meeting presenters and attendees to upload their own attachments to the agenda, so you are not tracking people down and constantly updating materials.
Tip 2: Don’t waste time reading
We love this tip from Dana Brownlee in her paper presented at PMI® Global Congress: Assign time-intensive tasks as homework. Do not spend time with the project team reading reports and materials. Use the Microsoft Teams group to share materials that are for information only before and after the meeting.
Tip 3: Do clearly communicate meeting outcomes
In an earlier blog post offering tips to meeting organizers, we remind readers to clearly recap what decisions were made and what action items need to be completed at the end of the meeting and again in the meeting minutes. This ensures everyone ends the meeting on the same page. You can also use the start of the next meeting to review outstanding and upcoming tasks, to further keep everyone on track.
Brownlee also suggests project managers write all action items with a task owner and due date on a flip chart or in the meeting chat in real-time, while the meeting takes place.
Meetings are often the most critical part of the project because they drive the project forward, provide opportunities to address and manage risks, and are where decisions are made. Are your meetings designed for project management performance?
Successful project meeting management frees up time to focus on managing the project, instead of making agendas and tracking down earlier notes, action items and decisions.
Decisions can help.
Decisions is a project manager's secret weapon for meeting management. Get it today from AppSource – your free trial starts right away!