Project Mechanics

Meetings

Project meetings can be the black hole of project management. Without some basic meeting guidelines, the project can grind to a halt as meeting after meeting takes over everyone's time. It does not have to be that way. Meetings can be a place where great progress is made and an effective use of team member’s time. But you must make sure that you have the right people at the right meeting.

Too many times team members suffer from FoMS (Fear of Missing Something) and attend meetings outside of their role on the project. A way to combat FoMS is to make your project meeting schedule public and to make access to meeting minutes easy. Offering a way for project team members to view and comment on meetings they did not attend will also help combat FoMS.

All project meetings should be scheduled in advance and have a published agenda and attendance guidelines.Even in the event of an emergency meeting, a quick agenda (for example: Why is the server down?) and documented meeting results are critical. Action items from a meeting should be tracked through an issue management system. 

Meeting minutes should be published and readily available to all team members as quickly as possible. The purpose of the meeting minutes is to create a history of the decisions made in meetings and to give project team members the information they need to decide which meetings to attend in the future.

Meeting minutes should contain the following information:

  • The person who called the meeting
  • The time the meeting occurred
  • The formal name of the project that the meeting is associated with
  • Brief description of the meeting purpose
  • List of all meeting attendees
  • The meeting agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

 

The meeting minutes are a summation of the discussions, action items and decisions from the meeting. It is very important to clearly specify any decisions that were made at the meeting. Action items should be cross-referenced with a issue management system.


About the Author
Mark Hazleton has been active in Information Services delivery for over 14 years.

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