Project management is a framework used by managers to guide their teams to achieve project goals within certain parameters. Project management requires great communication, organization skills, focus, and the ability to pivot as required.
Great managers know that prioritizing project management frameworks and methodologies is essential to streamlining workflow and meeting deadlines and budgets.
This is where project management meetings come in.
Project meetings involve communicating with stakeholders and team members, discussing goals and deadlines, and mitigating any potential roadblocks.
Successful project management meetings are a hallmark of great managers and lead to the success of individual projects along with building strong interdepartmental communication.
Having a project meeting agenda prepared in advance is essential to setting clear expectations and making the most of your project meetings.
By looking at the latest in project management research, we’ve come up with the top 10 items to add to your project meeting agenda to maximize success and save time and money.
A project management meeting is a team meeting involving all the relevant stakeholders of a particular project. The participants in a project management meeting typically include members of the project team, the project manager, project sponsors, stakeholders, and subject matter experts.
Depending on the scope and complexity of the project, other individuals or groups may also be invited to participate in the meeting, such as external consultants or vendors.
The purpose of the meeting is for the project team to discuss the progress of the project, identify and address any issues or challenges, and make decisions related to the project. The goal is to ensure that the project stays on track and meets its objectives within the defined timeline and budget.
These meetings are held at regular intervals during a project's lifecycle to ensure that the entire team involved in the project is on the same page. The frequency of these meetings will depend on several factors including the size and complexity of the project, the stage of the project, and the needs of the team.
It is a time to come together and address issues, problem-solve, and discuss any potential roadblocks or scope creep. Project meetings work in symbiosis with other project management tools and communication channels.
The purpose of a project status meeting is to provide regular updates on the progress of a specific project and ensure that all team members are aligned on the project's goals and objectives.
During a project status meeting, your team will sync on the following:
Schedule status update
Budget status update
It is important to review the status of tasks and deadlines, as well as any potential blockers or scope creep that may impact the project. The team should also review the RACI matrix, which outlines the roles and responsibilities of each team member, to ensure that everyone is clear on their duties and that the project is moving forward smoothly.
By holding regular project status meetings, project managers can ensure that the team is staying on track and meeting its project goals, and can make any necessary adjustments as the project progresses. Using asynchronous communication tools or a collaborative meeting agenda can help to streamline the status update process and ensure that everyone is informed and engaged.
A great project manager is a little bit like a juggler- usually, they have several tasks in the air at any one time. Here are several ways to prepare for your project meeting, and make sure you never drop the ball.
It is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team members and how they can contribute to the project. This helps you to assign tasks and roles effectively and ensure that everyone is fully engaged in the project. The project and team will determine how often you need to meet. Your internal project kick-off meeting is a great time to gauge everybody’s working style-then you can fine-tune as you go.
Using the right collaboration tools is essential for ensuring your project management meetings are efficient and productive. There are many options available, ranging from video conferencing software to project management tools and online collaboration platforms. The choice of which tools to use will depend on the needs of your team and the specific requirements of your project.
Video conferencing software, such as Zoom or Google Meet, can be used to facilitate remote meetings and allow team members to communicate and collaborate in real-time. Pairing these with Airgram’s Chrome Extension means you have a real-time transcript that you and your team can refer back to.
Project management tools, such as Asana or Trello, can help teams to organize and track tasks, assign responsibilities, and collaborate with team members. Online collaboration platforms, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, can be used for real-time messaging and file sharing among team members.
Collaborative meeting agendas will help to bring further structure to your team meetings and ensure everyone stays focused throughout. Various project management meeting agenda templates include:
Project kick-off meetings to get the ball rolling
Weekly project status meeting agenda for regular updates on the project
By using the right collaboration tools, project managers can ensure that team members have the tools and resources they need to be productive and effective. This can help to streamline the project management process and improve communication and collaboration among team members.
It is important to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are included in the meeting. This may include team members, project sponsors, and external partners or consultants.
If a stakeholder can’t make the meeting, reschedule rather than try to push forward without everyone who needs to be there.
Conversely, it is important to only invite people who need to be there. Consider sharing the meeting notes with team members who need to be informed of the project but are not direct participants.
Make sure to schedule the meeting at a time that is convenient for all participants. It may also be helpful to send out a calendar invite or reminder to help ensure that everyone is aware of the meeting and can attend.
An agenda helps to define the purpose and objectives of the meeting and can help to keep the discussion focused and on track. Make sure to include all relevant topics and allocate sufficient time for each item.
Airgram's meeting agenda templates are a fantastic tool to help organize and structure project meetings. The project status meeting agenda includes a clear agenda with defined objectives, as well as sections for updates from team members, action items, and next steps. Using a template like this can help to ensure that meetings are efficient and productive.
Research has shown that project meetings that fail tend to do so because of a range of similar dysfunctions. By understanding these dysfunctions project managers can ensure they don’t fall into these common traps.
Most project managers will feel pressure to get their project off the ground as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this can often lead to micromanagement, which has been shown to foster a lack of trust and can lead to resentment and low productivity.
Let your team keep you updated on the important items and trust that they have their end covered.
Use your project management software to check in throughout the project and empower your team to take ownership of their responsibilities.
If the meeting agenda is not well-defined or there are too many items on the agenda, it can be difficult to stay focused and on track. This can lead to discussions that are off-topic or that do not move the project forward.
By using a status meeting agenda and sticking to the allotted time for each agenda item, you will avoid poor time management and ensure you stick to the scope of the project.
If other issues arise throughout the project status meeting that you feel need to be addressed, note them down and set aside a time to meet with the relevant members of your project management team at a later time. This may be via a one-on-one meeting agenda or a smaller part of the team, depending on the issue.
Ill-prepared team members are one of the biggest downfalls when it comes to project status meetings. If team members are not adequately prepared, they may not be able to contribute effectively to the discussion. Unfortunately, this often leads the rest of the team to speculative conversations which waste valuable time and resources.
While checking in on project progress is important, if there are no clear action items or next steps identified in the meeting, it can be difficult for team members to know what they need to do. This can lead to a lack of progress and a lack of accountability. Use your project management tool to update the next steps in the project, so that all people participating understand their action items and expected outcomes. Ensure the meeting organizer uses the meeting notes to check in on these action items in the next meeting.
Great managers understand that cultivating accountability in their team leads to trust, engagement, and high productivity, conversely, a lack of accountability can lead to:
Low team morale
Declining levels of engagement
Ineffective execution of goals and deliverables
Low levels of trust
High staff turnover
The simplest way to drive accountability in your team is to ensure everybody understands their responsibilities from the outset. Making use of the RACI matrix ensures everyone on your team is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. When people clearly understand what is expected of them, they are empowered to deliver the desired outcomes.
Productive team meetings need structure and great managers keep the team focused via a range of frameworks. The BLISS framework is a project management tool for increasing the effectiveness of project status meetings. It consists of five key components:
Beginnings: Start the meeting on time and make sure to greet and introduce all participants.
Leaders: Assign a leader for the meeting who can facilitate the discussion and keep the meeting on track.
Interactions: Encourage active participation and interaction among team members, and make sure to listen to and consider the ideas and perspectives of all participants.
Structure: Follow a clear agenda and structure for the meeting, and make sure to allocate sufficient time for each topic.
Summaries: At the end of the meeting, summarize the main points and decisions made, and assign any action items.
By integrating Airgram meeting agenda templates with project management tools such as Asana, Jira, and Trello, the BLISS framework can be used to increase the effectiveness of project status meetings by:
Ensuring all team members are aware of their roles and responsibilities and are prepared to contribute to the discussion.
Establishing clear communication channels and protocols for the project team to follow.
Encouraging active collaboration and communication among team members to identify and solve problems promptly.
Setting clear goals and objectives for the project and establishing a timeline and budget to help keep the project on track.
Now that you understand the common dysfunctions that can hinder effective meetings, let's look at ways to make your project status meeting more effective.
Ineffective handling of time management is one of the quickest ways to foil a productive meeting. Assigning a timekeeper separate from the person responsible for running the meeting will help to keep everyone task and aligned to the purpose of the meeting. It also aids in ensuring balanced input from all relevant stakeholders.
Aigram’s project meeting agenda template includes an easy-to-use timer to assist the timekeeper in staying on track.
Visual aids such as slides and Gannt charts are a fantastic way to illustrate complex information and demonstrate important details to team members. They are also a great tool to maintain interest and keep your team engaged.
Gannt charts in particular help to plan key events and properly allocate resources, giving everyone on the team an overall view of the current project status.
Ensure someone is taking notes, summarizing key decisions that are made throughout the meeting and any relevant action items. Use Airgram’s meeting agenda template to add action items as you go. Share these in your PM tool to help ensure project success.
Detailed notes are essential in order to capture key points and action items discussed in each meeting. They also help to serve as a reference point for future meetings. Furthermore, they are a fantastic retrospective tool to use at the end of the project to evaluate what basic elements worked and where there is room for improvement. Ensure these notes are kept in a central place where everyone can access and contribute to them.
By implementing these strategies, project managers can ensure that project status meetings are effective and productive, helping to keep the project on track and meet its objectives.
It never hurts to start a project status meeting with a review of the project's overall goal, along with the meeting’s purpose.
Updates from the project management team: Each team member should provide an update on their work and any tasks that have been completed or are in progress.
Action items and next steps: The team should discuss any action items that need to be completed and assign them to specific team members. It's also important to discuss the next steps for the project and any dependencies that may impact progress.
Changes to the project scope or timeline: If there have been any changes to the project scope or due dates, they should be discussed and documented in the meeting.
Risk assessment and management: The team should review any potential risks to the project and discuss strategies for mitigating those risks.
Budget and resource allocation: The team should review the budget and resource allocation for the project and discuss any adjustments that may be needed.
Stakeholder updates: If there are any stakeholders outside of the project team, it's important to keep them informed about the project's progress. This could include updates on the project's timeline, budget, or any other relevant information.
Quality assurance: The team should discuss any quality assurance measures that are in place and any issues or concerns that have arisen during the project.
Communication plan: The team should review their communication plan, the tools that are currently in use, and discuss any changes or updates that may be needed.
Any other business: This could include any additional items or issues that need to be discussed but may not have fit into the other categories.
Project management meetings are one of the most vital tools in any project manager's toolbox. With project managers often running several projects at once, too often a lack of planning and poorly developed agendas means these meetings lack a clear trajectory and end up wasting time and failing to move the project forward.
Status meetings require so much more than just sending out invitations and showing up.
A successful project status meeting involves strategic planning using a range of tools to ensure project success.
Make the most of your status meeting by bringing together the right people, the right tools, and the right attitude, and the results will speak for themselves.
Productive project status meetings not only ensure project success, but can also help to increase team morale, uncover potential roadblocks, and encourage great time management.
Download your Airgram agenda for project meeting template and get started on your way to project management stardom today!
Michael started his career as a product manager and then developed a passion for writing. He has been writing on technology, remote working, productivity, etc., hoping to share his thoughts with more people.