Project Management

Methods to Stop Meeting Madness?

PMI Charleston, SC Chapter

Dan leads the Project Management Office of The Medical University of South Carolina's Office of the CIO. He also owns PM One, LLC (, a leading project management training company serving the Southeast USA. Dan is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS), and a HIMSS Fellow (FHIMSS).

I am preparing an eight-hour workshop for HIMSS 2015 on April 12th called “Got Tools? Applying Method to the Project Madness” (using tools to bring order to healthcare project chaos). As such, I have been giving a lot of thought to all of the meetings that healthcare project managers attend. Frequently it is us--as either the PMO or PM--that are at the front of the room leading the meeting. Research tells me that 40-60% of our time is spent in meetings, but my personal observation, for me, is that I spend more like 60-80% of my days in meetings. With this much time and money invested in meetings, it is incumbent on us to be as effective as we can.

Aside from recurring meetings, as project managers we are often asked to attend “urgent” meetings on short notice. Stakeholder concerns, issue resolution. team member crisis, project change requests. More times than not, these meetings are poorly run, inadequately attended, stray off topic, include too many topics to manage in the period allotted and result in more meetings being called to resolve the problems caused by this meeting!

Life does not have to be this way.

Healthcare projects are more complex than many industries due to our DNA (doctors-nurses-administrators) not necessarily being engaged as much as we would like, but it is because of the DNA that we must ensure that each and every …

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