As much as they are a necessary part of running a successful project, project management meetings can very easily become boring, unproductive and time-consuming. Getting your team to stay focused and keep to the point is often impossible. Even though these meetings are crucial to keeping your company running smoothly and efficiently, these meetings often bore people, run much longer than they were intended to and more often than not accomplish very little in the greater scheme of things.
So how do you keep you employees alert, focused and actively participating? There are a few simply tips to make the most of the precious time you have with your team, and ensure that your meetings are an effective use of your company and your employees’ time. Without any further ado, let us explore some of these simple, yet effective tips from the experts, which might just help you to give your project management meetings the boost it so desperately needs.
1. All about the timing
When choosing a time to hold your project management meeting, make sure that you choose a time which guarantees your employees will be awake and alert. Many people choose to have their meetings first thing in the morning, so that their team can get on with their daily tasks as was discussed. The problem is that if you schedule your project management meeting for 8 in the morning, people are going to be half awake, frustrated from sitting in traffic to get to the office on time, and generally agitated and unproductive.
Scheduling your meeting after lunch is another mistake which you should avoid. People might be logy from a big lunch, suffering a touch of indigestion, or might have had to skip lunch in order to prepare for the meeting, putting them in a negative frame of mind from the get-go.
10 – 11 am is considered to be the ideal time, as everyone has recovered from their morning rush, are not yet thinking about lunch or anticipating the end of the work day and thinking about what they will be doing after work.
2. Avoid the white board
Before using a white board in your project management meetings, you should take some time and consider whether it is something that you really need. More often than not, it only serves to serve up a mess of indecipherable scribbles which no one is going to pay any attention to once the meeting is adjourned. Using a white board also causes you to take your eye off your audience, making the meeting impersonal and frustrates the less visual-orientated members of your team. Only use a white board if it is completely necessary.
3. Keep the meeting flowing
It is important to take notes during your project management meeting, but take care not to over detail them and have extended periods of silence while you sit buried with your nose in your laptop to meticulously record every word that has been spoken. Having long periods of silence disrupts the flow of your meeting and frustrates people who would prefer to get on with their tasks.
4. Engage the distracted members
Nothing keeps a team member as focused and alert as being called on. If you see one of your employees who appear distracted, give them the floor and have them speak their mind. Not only does this keep them engaged, but it will also force them to be better prepared for the next project management meeting.