How to Conduct Effective Project Status Meetings with Your Team?

Most project status meetings happen as part of an organization's tradition. The common lines we hear from a project manager while starting a project would mostly be “Mondays are for review meetings” or “Let’s meet every Wednesday to check on the project updates.”

90% of these status meetings could sail through emails or threads on internal communication platforms like Teams or Slack. That being said, we aren’t downgrading the importance of project status meetings. Instead, we’d like to emphasize how project managers and team members could conduct these meetings to ensure quality project deliverables.

Why are Status Review Meetings Necessary for Project Management?

In today’s ever-changing digital world, it is imperative to adapt to customer needs and keep the business up and running. This forces the teams to set deadlines, meet milestones and ensure constant engagement to ensure the project's quality or agenda isn’t derailing.

Project managers and executive leaders need to be informed on what’s happening in the project and with each team member. Though the occurrences can be weekly or bi-weekly, project status meetings hold benefits in terms of the following −

  • Providing a venue to recognize achievements, solve problems, and prevent frequently-done mistakes from happening again.

  • Deciding on the agenda for the week, so everyone knows what everyone should be up to.

  • Allowing project managers to assess current problem areas or hindrances.

  • Building accountability - each team member knows they have to present their updates in the next meeting, making them strictly stick to the deadlines.

  • Leveraging collective wisdom - team members can work together towards issue resolutions, saving ample time.

  • Pushing the project forward - A wise project manager can perceive these meetings as a chance to coach them on the project's key problems.

Tips to Effectively Run a Project Status Meeting

Despite the advantages above, most review meetings in an organization turn out to be epic failures with eye rolls and plausible groans. The reasons could be and are not limited to poorly developed agendas, poor time management, discussions veering off the agenda, and unbalanced team inputs. While these dysfunctions’ aggravating impacts on the cost and quality are pretty obvious, the erosion of the project manager’s credibility to project review meetings is another subtle impact.

If you’re a project manager/team leader/business owner, you can easily avoid these major pitfalls by implementing the below tips to turn the cringe-worthy meetings into collaborative check-ins.

When the meetings are virtual:

We want you to emphasize three areas when your status meetings are virtual or remote.


There’s a world of difference between the statements, “Paul, what success did you have since the last meeting?” and “Paul, how can the team assist you?”. The latter is more inviting and positively impacts everyone attending the meeting.

So, as a project lead, you’ve to bear the brunt when your team isn’t looking forward to attending the sync-up meetings you schedule. Especially when it’s virtual, it is not always what you say but the way you say it.


One problem with virtual meetings is the inability to distinguish between who’s listening and who’s not, mainly when it’s not a video meeting.

In such scenarios, project managers can call out the names of each team member and ask them to share the lessons learned while working on the project. You can also ask individual questions and create a room to share the project wins to make the status meeting less monotonous.


When it’s not possible to meet your team in person, video meetings are the next best thing. Your colleagues can concisely deliver the message when they see each other’s gestures.

Plus, the interaction and engagement are heightened when the audience can see the person while talking. If your project status meetings run on apps allowing screen capturing, always ask your team members to share the screen and explain what they’re talking about.

When the meetings are in-person:

No employee loves to be micromanaged. But project status meetings often make your teammates feel that they are being constantly nudged to do better. So, as a project manager or a person presiding over the meeting, make sure to start the meeting on a fun note or by appreciating the team’s progress.

Once the meeting flow is set, here are a few tips to ensure a productive meet-up with your team.

Prior preparation of the agenda

A common complaint we hear from employees is that their project status meetings are too long and irrelevant to everyone in the room and that they spend significant time preparing for the meeting the day before.

In such a scenario, preparing your people for the meeting before they enter the room is best. Project managers can do this by −

  • Emailing everyone on the team about the expectations.

  • Setting the agenda of the meeting. For example, the agenda could be “everyone has to share 3 important updates from the past week” or “prepare a presentation on project updates from the past week”

Respect everyone’s time

The sole purpose of a weekly project status meeting is to motivate team members to get back on track and focus on task completion. So, the motto of the meeting should be to accomplish something in the shortest amount of time. Project managers can ensure this by −

  • Assigning a timeframe for each speaker (5 or 7 minutes can be the max limit).

  • Refrain from reviewing reports or documentation during the meeting.

  • Share a common meeting notes form and encourage the attendees the contribute their takeaways.

  • In the end, summarize the critical decisions taken and assign the action items and who needs to accomplish them.

Insist on accountability

Throughout the course of a project, additional action items crop, which need frequent follow-up. So, the respective team members must be held accountable for those tasks to prevent project schedule delays.

To foster a culture of accountability −

  • Begin your status meeting with a review of previous action items.

  • Discuss the consequences of missing those action items.

  • Consider using electronic tools to send timely reminders.

  • Ask the task owners to decide on the due dates of the action items.

Staying focused is the key

Whenever a project team gets together, each has a soap-box issue they’d like the project manager to address first. This can lead to the meetings going off the agenda, causing the meetings to run late.

Here are a few ways to stay focused −

  • Assign one team member to “raise a flag” when the discussion is veering off the topic.

  • If the topic is too important to be discussed, take it up after the meeting.

  • Reiterate the ground rules of the project status meeting.


A project manager should hold all the critical tools to running a successful project status meeting in his toolbox. Unfortunately, not all project managers are well-equipped with these techniques and think the status meetings are about sending invitations and showing up. In reality, an effective status meeting with your team can render tremendous results. When the above tips are religiously followed, teams can uncover potential risks and ensure the timely delivery of the project.