The Secret to Great Project Management Meetings


flickr photo shared by Krystal T under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Raise your hand if you like meetings.

Now, let’s take a count. That’s one, two… exactly zero people who like meetings.

Thought so.

But meetings are necessary. They keep us on task, set the agenda, and keep everyone on the same page. As facilitator/ project manager/ stellar meeting-runner, this all falls under your purview.

So how do you make project management meetings something your team wants to attend (instead of something they schedule root canals to avoid)?

Turns out there’s a magic formula–a single, time-tested secret handed down through generations of meeting-makers–that guarantees that your staff come away from each meeting with a renewed sense of purpose and focus.

And for the first time in 74 years, I have been authorized to reveal the secret:

Respect your team’s time.

Earth-shattering, no? Seriously, every good meeting tip can be put under this umbrella. And speaking of good meeting tips…

1. Set an agenda.

Humans like predictability. In every movie ever, we know that 1) the good guys will win, and that 2) Ryan Gosling will get the girl. Yet we still watch the movie.

Set an agenda for your team and send it out the day before the meeting. Keep it short- four or five bullet points will do. This crucial step sends a clear message that your value your team’s time, and that you’ll put it to good use.

2. Stay focused.

Everyone loves Joel’s impression of Joe Biden, but the project management meeting probably isn’t the best time for it. Once the meeting kicks off, get down to business. Assume that your team really does have meaningful work to get back to. Accomplish the meeting’s goals and send them on their way.

3. Use cutting-edge, Death-Star-level technology (design flaws notwithstanding) to save time.

It’s 2015. Earth-shattering technology (more commonly referred to as LiveSlides) exists. Use it to your advantage.

LiveSlides can reduce meeting time by an average of 43 percent (probably).

How, you ask? By directly embedding the project management apps—Jira, Asana, Pivotal Tracker, even Google Calendar—you already use into your presentations to make meetings a breeze.

Manually adding multiple slides? Just embed your projects for lightning-fast meeting prep.

Cutting and pasting? Not anymore- put charts and checklists right in the deck, and even reuse them for future meetings.

Double-checking info to make sure it’s up-to-date? Forget it- it’s all synced up between the web and your PowerPoint.

4. Recap

Recaps help everyone recall important information that was discussed, giving them a bite-sized takeaway they can digest easily. Keep it short and sweet, but make sure everyone knows what’s expected of them going forward.

5. Donuts

This one has less to do with respecting your team’s time and more to do with showing them that you’re up on the latest culinary trends. Don’t ask us why, but multiple studies have shown that donuts increase team cohesion.

Wrapup

Notice that every one of these steps fall under the umbrella of respecting everyone’s time. By ensuring that everyone knows what to expect, keeping the meeting brief, cutting unnecessary time and distractions with sleek tools, and reiterating the takeaways, you’ll have everyone on the same page and back to work in no time.

The most crucial of benefits of that mantra will come into play in subsequent meetings: when you show your team that you respect their time, they’ll be much more open to future meetings and much less prone to schedule a root canal for that day.

Everybody wins.

To kick your project management meetings into hyperdrive, head over to our project management page and start saving sweet time with LiveSlides. Power to the PowerPoint.

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