When most people hear the word “meeting” they think “boring, time consuming, and often pointless”. It is important that if you are going to pull a team out of their daily tasks to meet with each other, the meeting is fruitful and efficient. As a project manager, it is our job to lead meetings that clearly relay project status and allow a forum for collaboration that keeps the project moving forward. Below are five tips for conducting effective team meetings:
- Establish an agenda and stick to it
- Review previous action items and provide status updates
- Talk about any risks or changes that have been injected into the project
- Provide an updated project timeline and any upcoming critical path items or dependencies
- Gather action items and assign owners and due dates
- Be efficient
- Time is money; start and end on time
- Move at a pace that allows you to get through all of the agenda topics; any deep dives should be taken off line
- Close the meeting early if possible, and excuse attendees if their contribution to the meeting has been met
- Be respectful of everyone’s time; If a meeting does run long, ask the attendees if they are ok going over
- Always make your purpose clear
- While an agenda is important, make it clear to the team members the main reason(s) why you wanted to hold a team meeting and what you hope to walk away with. Don’t meet if an email or Spark message would have been just as effective
- Provide a recap at the end
- While you’ve been gathering action items and outstanding deliverables throughout the meeting, revisit your action items list at the end and recap what is there. Make sure that task owners are clear on what is assigned to them, that due dates are fair and achievable, and that there isn’t anything that should be tracked that may have previously been missed
- Have fun!
- Meetings are a chance for team collaboration and relationship building. Take advantage of the time with your project team to build report and connect.
More companies are using technology to help increase the efficiency of their meetings. In person meetings used to be the driver for meeting your business goals, but today's world of dispersed partnerships and remote teams you need meeting solutions that will connect your teams. The right technologies will help simplify your meetings without sacrificing quality or security. 75% of businesses that meet with video report that it improves collaboration and increases productivity across dispersed teams (Cisco). Our team uses video, web conferencing, and Webex Team Rooms (messaging, call and file sharing).
If focused on pace, productivity and purpose, your project team members will feel encouraged and empowered to continually move in the direction of project success!