Practical Project Control Cadence

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of the Microsoft Project Made Easy series. For more project management advice, visit the website

How many meetings per week does it take to manage a project or a program? Agile proponents favor a daily 15-minute standing meeting to obtain status, communicate accomplishments and identify issues. Traditional project managers have a weekly status meeting and others will have pre-meetings for the actual status meeting. Regardless of methodology, a project can quickly be burdened by administrative glut if they are inundated with meeting upon meeting.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the running joke about meetings being the practical alternative to work. You know meetings have become a joke within corporate culture when they show up in a Dilbert cartoon. I’ve worked on some projects where the lead developer was so involved in daily meetings that he would write code throughout the night because the project team had him preoccupied with daily meetings. Conversely, on other projects, I’ve gotten pushback on even conducting a status meeting.

These two diverse perspectives on status meetings highlight the administrative challenge project managers face juggling overhead tasks with team productivity. It is important to clarify the purpose and status reporting expectations early in the project; otherwise, people will behave similar to the Dilbert cartoon. Meeting expectations are usually set during the project planning phase and project kickoff. If you&rsquo…

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