Meetings, meetings and more meetings – there always seems so much to talk about and yet they invariably seem to achieve so little. That could be one view of the meetings that a Project Manager finds themselves attending – but if it is, then they really should do something about who’s scheduling the meetings and why. Meetings should be an important an integral part of your job as a Project Manager, whether its an informal meeting when you happen across someone en route somewhere else or a full-blown board meeting with a secretary in attendance.
The three types of meeting.
As the Project Manager you can expect to be involved in 3 types of meetings. Planning and review meetings, which can be accomplished with individuals or small teams of people, for these although you need to keep everyone informed of the projects progress, you don’t need everyone brought together to look at how well the constituent parts of the project are progressing. Keep these meetings small and you won’t end up being side-tracked and wasting your valuable time. Decision making meetings will pretty well occupy your day, again the smaller the group called together for these the better. Once a decision is made, section leaders can filter the decision down amongst the sub-teams. Finally, you will need to organize meetings that bring together all the departments or sub-teams working on the project. These meetings look at the actual constructive work done so far and are used to plan the next stages. As the various parts of a project are invariably inter-dependent on one another, everyone is needed at these to discuss and agree on priorities for the next stage.
Running the meeting.
Any meeting is only successful if it runs well, so what do you need to do in terms of running the meeting. We’ll look at this in more detail in our next article but essentially this requires you to; prepare for the meeting so that you know what needs to be achieved, use the objectives from your preparation to keep the meeting flowing and not getting side-tracked and, finally, follow-up the meeting – making sure clear and concise minutes are issued, so that you can reinforce the decisions made in it.