How to run effective project meetings

When you manage a project you want to run effective project meetings.  Why?

  • wasting resources time costs money
  • wasted time impacts on your delivery schedule
  • staff working on the project want information they can easily digest
  • effective meetings gain buy in

run effective project meetings

Tips for running effective meetings

Consider the reason you are holding the meeting.

If you don’t have a good reason to stop everyone from working, then don’t.

What types of meetings are key for a project team to function well:

  • Whole project team meetings   Here are reasons why you would hold an all project team meeting.  They are very valuable and build team cohesion.
  • Issues management meetings  These are key to keep issues managed on your project. Hold weekly meetings with the key leads responsible for issues management.
  • Sub meetings per stream  Hold smaller and more effective meetings with streams as they roll on and off your project. This is more effective than having everyone involved in all meetings
  • Conflict resolution meetings  It’s valuable to deal with conflict head on. Hold a meeting with the parties at war and resolve it.  The sooner the better.

Always have an agenda.

Draw up an agenda and ensure that you stick to it.  Capture action steps and who is responsible.  Also be sure to include a time frame for delivery.  If you don’t do this you’ve wasted everyone’s time.  Take down issues that arise in the meetings. Also capture any risks or updates to risks at this time too.

Follow up after the meeting with minutes.

Most people consider minute writing a nuisance.  I use it as a way to solidify in my mind what happened in the meeting. By writing down the key discussion points, action points and time frames I become clear on what was achieved.

This also helps me recognise if something was missed.  After sending out the minutes attendees can then confirm their understanding. They may often come back with points of clarification. Valuable insight for everyone. Open communication amongst the team which is key.

Manage the meeting.

Some one needs to facilitate the meeting. That needs to be you. Take the lead and manage the discussion. That doesn’t mean shutting down discussion if it’s needed.  It does mean managing participant involvement so that everyone is heard.

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Sometimes it may not be possible to get all attendees in the room at the same time. Remote meetings are just as effective if you plan them well.

Running effective remote meetings

Here is a great infographic that you can print and have close by if you are running remote meetings.  It’s like a quick check list of the things to consider when you are running meetings with staff remotely.  For instance, sending out material before hand. This helps remote staff feel involved.