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Why Should You Conduct Project Status Meetings with Your Team?
With the 18-month-long delivery cycles becoming a wild goose chase for clients and organizations, agile methodologies are now the safest bet with quarterly releases and two-week delivery cycles. Agile way of working appeals to the customers and project members alike as the product gets to market faster.
However, when companies go agile, project managers bear the brunt of updating the project plans to the client every week. This necessitates frequent meetings within the team to discuss project updates and progress.
Through this article, let’s get into the crux of a project status meeting and how it be a valuable tool in a project manager’s toolbox.
What is Project Status Meeting?
Of all the meetings conducted between internal and external project stakeholders, the project status meeting is the one that would be most useful in monitoring a project. Particularly among agile groups, it helps keep close track of the project’s progress so that precise status reports can be shared with the client regularly.
To describe briefly, a project review meeting involves a project manager getting a comprehensive view of the group's performance regularly, learning about how the project is progressing, and coaching the entire team on key issues that may affect the deliverables.
The goal of project status meetings is to −
Take notes on what has been accomplished to date
Controlling and reviewing the budget
Discuss the challenges and roadblocks
Set priorities - which tasks need to be addressed first
Identify weaknesses to make early corrections
Make critical decisions that help keep the project moving ahead
Reasons to Schedule Project Status Meetings
Projects keep a company up and running, and proper management of these projects creates a thin line between a company’s success and failure. Effective project management doesn’t come from team members working tirelessly but also from how the project is being navigated until the deadline.
Successful communication plays a vital role in precisely knowing the ebb and tides of a project, and here comes the role of project status meetings.
But, as a project manager/leader, why should you bother organizing a project status meeting? Let’s get into the details.
Critical in determining the success of a project
With a new project comes a new team and a new manager presiding over it. To stay up to date on the task status, the new team members must get comfortable with each other; that can only happen through constantly being in touch.
As a renowned leadership speaker, Mark Sanborn rightly said, “In teamwork, silence is not golden; it is a catastrophe” we believe project status meetings are the gateway to a better team and project handling.
On the other hand, the project manager can motivate the team and make sure it stays on track not to endanger the project’s timeline.
Establish accountability and transparency
Meetings to take note of the project’s progress can be done in many forms, including conference calls and one-on-one calls. But, status meetings are vital for any organization as they get all the team members in one place, thereby improving openness and accountability.
If your team is aware that they must have updates to present in the project status meetings, they tend to be more driven to complete tasks on time.
When the teammates return to their desks after these meetings, they have a clear idea on their next steps, action plans, and next viable goal.
So, as a project manager, it is your responsibility to create an environment in which everyone understands the significance of their action items and the shared goals so that even in your absence, the project doesn’t derail.
Helps brainstorm solutions
A project status meeting can be the right venue for project managers to collect the group’s collective knowledge on the project and solve the issues almost instantaneously. If the ideas and issues are discussed as a team, this meeting can add significant value to the project. So, a wise project will not just see a project status meeting as a reviewing session, instead will make the most use of it.
Harnesses team’s talent
To kick off these status meetings on the right note, project managers usually start with the milestones achieved and appreciate the team's efforts. Any significant achievements from a single team member will also be felicitated, motivating the rest of the team to perform better.
Meanwhile, the project manager will come to know if they have assigned the right kind of tasks to the team or if the tasks need to be swapped to utilize the right potential of each candidate.
Ensures the team members are on the same page
When a team member leaves the organization amidst a sprint, your project usually gets to a temporary halt. To avoid it, project status meetings play a crucial role. When each team member is well aware of what’s exactly happening with the project and how each team member is progressing, it becomes easy to take on the additional tasks and complete them on time.
What Should Be the Frequency of Status Review Meetings?
Striking the right balance between not running too many meetings, thus creating more work, and getting ahead of potential issues by frequently meeting is a tough task. Here are a few things you can consider to schedule the right frequency of project status meetings.
Length of the project
The bigger the project, the lesser the frequency of the status meetings as the sprints are spread out, and the team has quite some time to show progress. Lengthy projects can often start with frequent meetings till clarity is attained and then be reduced to bi-weekly. The team can again choose to meet frequently as the project reaches the culmination stage.
The complexity of the project
The more complex the project is, the more you have to meet; it’s as simple as that. That being said, weekly meetings would probably suffice to clarify doubts and ensure the project is on the right track.
Purpose of each status meeting
Do you have questions from your clients to be answered? Should you update your supervisor on the project’s accountability? Consistent (weekly) project status meetings with the agenda set priorly are the key to answering all these questions. With the correct agenda, everyone knows what to present at the meeting, saving ample time.
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