Meetings are arguably the reason most projects get successfully completed. Though most of the work is done beyond the confines of a scheduled meeting, it’s in these spaces of time where the strategy for implementation happens.
Whether planning an event, sketching out a marketing plan, or designing a website – meetings can be an essential component of reaching the desired outcome. However, though meetings have been given a bad rep due to poor management and unclear communication. When managed without a strategy, meetings become more of a hindrance than value – diminishing resources, morale, and even killing projects altogether.
Meetings Take Many Forms
Contrary to popular belief, meetings don’t have to be an ‘all hands on deck’, cumbersome affair. They can be as simple as a 5-minute check-in with the loose structure or more formal agenda driven spaces to kick off projects or outline a new plan. It’s debatable whether project management software can replace the traditional meeting, however, with video chat and immediate messaging this is becoming more of a reality.
Too Many Cooks (In the Conference Room)
Meetings can be one on one sessions or team involved, but if there’s one thing many can agree on – it’s the fact that only actively engaged stakeholders should be involved in any given meeting. Unless holding a presentation, only essential members of the project should be present. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos takes this a step further by sticking to a ‘two pizza rule’, which essentially means no meetings can be held where more than two pizzas would be needed to feed those attending. Smaller teams mean more engagement and thus, a more active approach to the subject at hand.
Problem Solving Is The Name of the Game
There’s good reason why a collective grunt of annoyance or even worry can be heard in many offices when a meeting is called. Traditionally, meetings have been used as a forum to air grievances or call out problems. While this can be necessary in some situations, meetings should be used as spaces to solve problems and build plans to move the enterprise or project forward.
A Means to An End
If nothing else, goal setting based on an objective should be the benchmark for a meeting of any type. Whether HR related or client project-based, all meetings should have a common goal that surrounds the initial subject. All participants should walk away with clear intention on how to proceed to meet the goal(s).
We can all agree that meetings are a necessary component of project management; however, if planned and structured (even loosely) have the capacity to improve collaborative efforts and overall environment.