Running a successful project meeting that energizes and informs your team does not happen by accident! Take a look at how you currently organize meetings and consider the question – “do you and your team need better management of meetings?”
If the answer is yes, try at our sample agenda for your next meeting.
- Review and agree on the agenda with the team
- Review, discuss and resolve – in so far as possible- any open issues. Be careful that the issues are “real issues”
- Look at upcoming tasks for next week
- Project process and approach – any adjustments needed?
- (Time Permitting) Look at tasks achieved last week, or at least, the highlight tasks from last week
- Summarize the meeting outcomes.
These suggestions explain the agenda further.
How to Run a Successful Team Meeting
1. Review and agree on the agenda with the team
This brings the team to the same page as you start the meeting. Remember – your team is likely working on different tasks and on different projects, so this alignment can be helpful and necessary.
2. Review, discuss and resolve any open issues
I like to get the problems out of the way at the start of the meeting when energy levels are high.
As the project manager, ask people for the issues and also for their suggestions on how to address the issue. Do not assume on a collaborative project that you have to solve all issues by yourself. Set the opposite expectation with your team.
When you start a meeting with the issue discussion, it shows you are realistic. By asking people to bring suggested resolutions to every issue, it shows you trust their judgment. This is very empowering for the team.
3. Look at upcoming tasks for next week
What typically happens on projects is that tasks are defined in outline as a project starts. As the timing of the task approaches, discussion and definition is often needed.
There are many tasks in the week ahead. You may not need to discuss them all. With the help of the team, select the key tasks or deliverables on the dock for this week coming, and talk these through. Allow and encourage other team members to give inputs.
This will help reduce surprises and eliminate any confusion around upcoming tasks.
4. Project process and approach – any adjustments needed?
At the start of the project, a project management process was selected and implemented.
There is no reason to assume that the decisions made in this early stage are still 100% correct. Maybe it is time to adjust some aspect of how the project is coordinated or run.
This is a very respectful reflection to offer team members on a collaborative project. It explains that team members have a real say in how the project is run.
5. (Time Permitting) Look at tasks achieved last week, or at least, the highlight tasks from last week
You might be wondering why this is so late in the agenda. I find that people will talk at length about what was achieved at the expense of talking about what is yet to be achieved. Do not let the meeting descend into a history lesson as the meeting starts! It will steal too much valuable group meeting time.
If you would like to highlight a significant milestone or achievement, send a quick update email to the team after the meeting.
6. Any Other Business?
At this stage of the meeting, cover any small points or items that need attention but should not take up the entire meeting. Keep the front part of the meeting free for the more important items.
7. Summarize the meeting outcomes
Finish the meeting by recapping decisions, outcomes and action items.
These steps will help to improve the outcomes of your meetings and empower the project team. As the project evolves, you can adjust the agenda to fit the needs of your team.
Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from our free book, Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook.