Must-Have Meetings in the Course of Project Management

Must-Have Meetings in the Course of Project Management

There’s a proper time and a suitable approach to everything under the sun. In project management, this creates a thin line between success and failure. Projects are what keep the organization running and pay slips coming. Project management thus becomes the key to hold projects together.

What about project meetings?

Effective project meeting is the tar on the road that smooths out any rough patches. It ensures all key players are on the right track and irons out any problems that may arise. In fact, part of successful communication on the role of a project manager is to know when and what types of meetings to organize.

Why Bother to Plan and Organize Project Meetings?

Progressive project meetings are necessary because of several reasons. Firstly, through the project meetings, team members get introduced to each other and the project. It opens the door to understanding the project's aim, goals, and how to reach there. Once the assignment kicks off, the players develop clear perceptions of how the project aligns with the organizational goals. It thus becomes easier for employees and other stakeholders to participate and become motivated in the project.

Moreover, through project meetings, the project manager disseminates the tasks to individuals and hears their feedback. Team players offer regular status updates to project managers and suggestions on how to reach the goals more flawlessly and enhance workflow management.

The importance of project management meetings can be summarized in the words of the leadership speaker and author, Mark Sanborn: “In teamwork, silence is not golden – it is a deadly catastrophe!

Must-Have Meetings for Successful Projects

As a project manager, there are five fundamental projects you need to get a grasp on before moving on to more sophisticated types of meetings.

(1) Project Kickoff Meetings

In athletics, the project kickoff meeting is when everyone is on the starting line just before the gunshot is heard. An East African quote states, "A good day is seen in the morning." This could not be more valid as in project management meetings. The first meeting sets the pace for consecutive project meetings. It ensures every team member is on the same page, as well as developing a formula for the business processes to reach the objectives.

As the formal initiation stage, project kickoff meetings are usually marked with team-building activities to boost the spirit of teamwork. A good team manager should have everything planned out beforehand and notes sent to attendees on what to expect throughout the meeting. Apart from team member introductions, project kickoff meetings open the door to discuss the client, set up a framework for the project, as well as a governance structure on how to address issues and roles delegation.

Further still, the team members get a chance to plan on milestones and prioritize those tasks that perfectly align with the client's needs. Finally, project kickoff meetings open the door for intimacy and an open forum for all players. It is a chance for everyone to be honest and discuss their fears, doubts, expectations, and reservations.

(2) Project Status/Regular Team Meetings

When thinking of project status meetings, think of your best sports commentator who keeps you updated on the game's progress. Note how entertaining and engaging they are. That’s precisely what these regular team meetings ought to be.

The status meeting ensures all members are at par with the progression of the project. Project status meetings will check the status of completed tasks and discuss solutions in cases where delays have arisen. In addition to evaluating the significant milestones covered, the project manager will also outline how much budget has been utilized and compare planned versus actual expenses. Any concerns, setbacks, questions, or friction in the team gets to be resolved during these meetings.

(3) Stakeholder’s Meetings

Do you want the keys to power and success for all your projects? Ensure you have the support of real influential power in the organization as much as you have a dedicated workforce backing you up. The stakeholder's meeting garners the attention and support of the most influential stakeholders. It creates commitment on their part, which is a bonus for you and the project.

Instead of doing all the talking, offer the updates on the ongoing project and inform them of the status that is relevant to them. Then ask questions to get their feedback and listen to whatever suggestions they will make. Make it engaging in arousing their interest, and make sure you address all their feedback.

(4) Contingency Meetings/Change Control Meetings

Failure to plan equals planning to fail. Nevertheless, you might be a master planner, but you have to be resolved that anything can go wrong anytime. If anything, you have to expect and await unplanned situations constantly. These meetings are set up and organized by a change control board, even though the project manager can handle more minor change requests.

Such contingencies require discipline and a systematic way of addressing them that involves all the key players. As a professional project manager, be prepared to explain why there’s a need for change, how the change will affect the process and outcomes, and recommendations for the next steps in implementing the change. Anticipate questions in line with the proposals and have a deliberated rebuttal to answer them.

(5) Project Review Meeting

The end of any stage marks the beginning of another. Mark the end of your story with lessons learned that could be implemented going forward. Itemize with the team players the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities experienced throughout the project. This SWOT analysis allows you to enhance the performance of future projects.

During the project review stage, avoid playing the blame game at all costs and offer relevant feedback to each employee. On top of reiterating on the objectives met, outline the budget used and discuss ways of improving future projects. Most importantly, congratulate and celebrate the accomplishments of the whole as well as individuals.

In Summary

Project management meetings need careful planning and strictly sticking to the agenda. Always be on time to start and end the sessions as it shows great respect for the member's time. Don't have too many attendees, or there will be heightened distractions that may derail the progress. Include just the right number and type of attendees for individual meetings.

Encourage participation of each member on board as it shows confidence in the individuals' opinions. A good way of contributing to participation would be to take notes that can be summarized and sent to individual team members.

Follow up on every discussed topic as it shows accountability and responsibility on your part. Finally, don't you ever cancel any meeting unless an apocalypse comes knocking at the doors of your organization.