Learn how to run meetings efficiently and effectively as a project manager.
- Meetings chew up time and energy that people could be using to get project work done, and because meetings include several people, they rack up cost more quickly than other work. But sometimes, they're the best way to work and communicate. If you hold the meeting, make it count. The first step to a productive meeting is to know what you're trying to accomplish.
Identify the purpose of the meeting, and the results you're trying to obtain such as approval to move forward or to resolve an issue. Second, create an agenda. You can use an agenda to make sure you cover every item, keep the discussions on topic, and to finish your meeting on time. On your agenda, list the topics to discuss and include your time estimate for each topic.
The more people you have in a meeting the harder it is to get things done. That's why the third step is to limit the attendees to the people you need to accomplish your goal. Fourth, give attendees a chance to prepare. Schedule the meeting when it works for the attendees, and send the meeting invitation ahead of time. For example, if you want stakeholders to approve a revised plan send the meeting request and the plan a few days before the meeting.
Fifth, start and finish meetings on time even if all attendees aren't there, and don't backtrack when people show up late. Sixth, facilitate the meeting to keep everyone focused on the meetings objectives. As project manager, you have lots to do in a meeting. If possible, ask someone else to be the facilitator. The facilitator kicks off the meeting with a brief introduction, the purpose of the meeting, the agenda topics, the attendees, and the ground rules for interaction.
The facilitator also promotes discussion if people aren't participating or maintains focus if the discussion starts to go off track. For example, by adding a topic to the parking lot to be handled at another time. Finally, take good meeting notes. How else will you remember decisions you've reached, action items you've identified, and who's responsible for them? During a meeting, you can document points on a whiteboard or a flip chart.
If possible, appoint someone to take notes. After the meeting, you can edit the notes, call out action items, who's responsible, and when items are due. Distribute the notes to attendees and anyone else who needs to know. If you run effective meetings, your projects will run more smoothly and you'll win popularity contests at work. If you want to explore this topic further, watch Dave Crenshaw's course Leading Productive Meetings.
Bonnie Biafore has always been fascinated by how things work and how to make things work better. In this course, she explains the fundamentals of project management, from defining the problem, establishing project goals and objectives, and building a project plan to managing team resources, meeting deadlines, and closing the project. Along the way, she provides tips for reporting on project performance, keeping a project on track, and gaining customer acceptance.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Defining the components of a project
- What it takes to be a project manager
- Using project management software like Microsoft Project
- Managing project scope, budget, and schedule
- Managing project resources, including people
- Managing project risk
- Initiating a project
- Identifying and managing stakeholders
- Identifying requirements and deliverables
- Developing a project plan
- Building a project schedule
- Assigning resources to tasks
- Understanding the critical path
- Running the project
- Managing teams
- Monitoring performance
- Closing a project
Skill Level Beginner
Project Management Foundations: Communicationwith Doug Rose1h 47m Appropriate for all
Project Management Foundations: Budgetswith Bob McGannon1h 11m Appropriate for all
1. Getting to Know Project Management
2. Exploring Project Management Knowledge Areas
3. First Things First
How to develop requirements4m 19s
4. Developing a Project Plan
5. Building a Project Schedule
6. While You Run the Project
7. Working with Teams
8. Monitoring and Controlling Progress and Performance
9. Closing a Project
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