For project management to be effective, a lot of things need to come into place.
Not only do you need effective communication across the project team, but you also need to hold a project management meeting that is clear, concise, and organized with a strategy that is ready to get kick-started.
If you aren’t sure what a project management meeting entails, Fellow has you covered with everything you need to know ahead of time.
- What is a project management meeting?
- Techniques for a project management meeting
- Project management meeting template
- 5 things to avoid
What is a project management meeting?
A project management meeting is a way to circulate information and properly communicate necessary details with the project team and the stakeholders. This type of meeting can be held regularly as a project moves from start to finish to ensure that it stays on task to hit various deadlines, problems can be solved effectively, and new ideas can be discussed.
The end goal for these meetings is to ensure that goals are being hit, tasks are being completed on time, and that the project management team isn’t going over the agreed-upon budget.
Taking the time to hold a meeting that is dedicated to major projects the team is working on allows you to update stakeholders with key information, allow for open and cross-functional communication for all team members, and can decrease the likelihood of challenges that may occur down the line.
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Techniques to prepare for a project management meeting
When it’s time to hold a project management meeting, it’s always a good idea to do a little preparation first so that nothing falls through the cracks. Keep these techniques in mind as you go about planning and coordinating this meeting.
- Create an efficient meeting agenda
- Invite only who needs to be there
- Look back and look forward
- Assign meeting roles to stay focused
- Leverage tech tools
- Wrap up efficiently
1 Create an efficient meeting agenda
No matter what kind of team meetings you plan on holding, all effective meetings start with an agenda. It’s crucial to create an agenda for a project management meeting. Taking the time to include necessary items on the agenda is one of the best ways to ensure everyone joins the meeting with clear expectations and understanding talking points and action items. Skipping this technique is bound to lead to a conversation that goes off-topic.
It’s in your best interest to utilize a tool like Fellow that can make meeting agendas straightforward, collaborative, and easy to understand. Your team will always take clear takeaways from the meeting, and nothing will ever fall through the cracks.
2 Invite only who needs to be there
It’s easy to get trigger-happy when inviting attendees to project management meetings. However, to be as useful as possible, only invite people who need to be there. If there are people who are less crucial to the project than others, it’s okay to leave them off the invite list and send them the meeting notes and necessary status updates as a recap. Shoot for the smallest number of attendees that will accomplish the goals of the project meeting.
And remember, if a critical project team member isn’t able to attend — reschedule. It’s better to wait and make sure the meeting is as productive and valuable as possible.
3 Look back and look forward
The look back and look forward concept applies to reviewing the previous and upcoming timelines, usually around two weeks before and after. Doing so encourages the project team to focus on the current look and feel of the project and any issues relevant to the “now.”
Having a historical view that will give the team relevant context to the project’s current state while also giving the team a chance to reflect on what others did well over the last few weeks.
If this is you first time using this technique, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Create a project schedule focused on the upcoming time period (roughly two weeks)
- Highlight important milestones or accomplishments within the schedule
- Go over key events that are around the corner
- Have the project manager or key team members go over anticipated risks that may occur during the upcoming time period
4 Assign meeting roles to stay focused
It’s crucial to any meeting, not just project management meetings that you assign meeting roles ahead of time. Doing so means everyone knows what they’re responsible for as the meeting is taking place and there are no surprises at the door.
Some meeting roles you can assign include:
- Meeting organizer: The person in charge of scheduling the meeting, sending out the invite, and sharing the agenda.
- Meeting host: The person responsible for ensuring the meeting stays on track and follows the agenda.
- The note-taker: Meeting notes are essential, so assign someone to write down the decisions made, the key takeaways, questions to answer after the meeting ends, due dates, next steps, and more.
- The time-keeper: No one likes a meeting that starts late and goes over the allotted time, so assign someone to make sure that there’s time for everything on the agenda.
- The decision-maker: It’s up to this person to state the final decision at the end of the meeting so that everyone is aware and on board.
- The voice of the customer: The person who represents the customer, their needs, their voice, and sees decisions from their point of view.
5 Leverage tech tools
The right project management tools can go a long way and can be the difference between a productive and informative meeting and one that ends up being a waste of time.
The right tool for the project will likely depend on the size of the project, the team, and how long the timeline for the project is. There are many task management tools to choose from, but some popular choices that you can keep in mind are Fellow, Asana, Timely Task, Monday, Basecamp, and Trello.
6 Wrap up efficiently
When the meeting is almost over, don’t forget to wrap things up. Summarize the key decisions that were made, leave time for questions, and determine next steps. Doing so allows the team to dot their i’s and cross their t’s before diving into the project and the tasks assigned to them.
Project management meeting agenda template
As you create a project meeting agenda, you may be unsure of what needs to be included. Try this free project management meeting agenda template:
5 things to avoid in a project management meeting
Now that we’ve covered what techniques you should do to accomplish an effective project management meeting, you should also know what you shouldn’t do.
Avoid these five things the next time a project management meeting is on the calendar:
- Lack of accountability
- Too much focus on status updates
- Not showing the notes you took
- Not giving the team action items
1 Lack of accountability
Everyone on the project team needs to be responsible for their tasks, actions, behavior, decisions, and overall role. This means, if a team member says they’re going to do something by the end of day Monday, that task is completed no later than 5:00 pm. Without accountability, it’s likely the project won’t be a success. This is why it’s so important for clear expectations and what everyone is responsible for as early on as possible.
It’s easy for project managers to feel like they have to micromanage a team, especially if it’s their first time having this role. However, visibility into every little thing isn’t necessary. Trust your team until they give you a reason not to.
3 Too much focus on status updates
While yes, status updates in these meetings are important, but don’t let it take up 100% of the time. Utilize the project management tool you’ve decided to use and make sure there’s visibility into status updates there so the manager and other team members can access this information whenever it’s needed.
4 Not showing the notes you took
It’s crucial that meeting notes be sent to not only the meeting attendees, but also to anyone who wasn’t able to attend. Doing so allows for this information to get in front of everyone who needs it. It’s also best to always keep notes in the same place so there’s no confusion as to where they can be accessed.
5 Not giving the team action items
All action items should be recorded in the project management tool, too. This way, everyone is clear on what they need to be working on and what they need to accomplish before the next meeting takes place.
Project management from A to Z!
At the end of a successful project management meeting, everyone should feel energized and ready to roll up their sleeves and dive headfirst into the project. For this to happen, make sure to keep these six techniques in mind. A comprehensive meeting agenda will kick things off on the right foot and give the team the best chance for success.