Good Practices for Project/Progress Meetings

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The most critical skills and activities by project managers is communications with the team, stakeholders, contractors, consultants, technical contributors, projects sponsors and funding partners.

In order to maintain project progress, many direct and indirect activities need to be performed and completed effectively and efficiently. Just as important as direct activities on construction projects such as excavation, concrete installation, steel erection, and systems installation, management meetings need to be held and attended in parallel with the more tangible activities.

Most capital projects contain interdependent phases for design and construction. As work progresses there are many types of recurring meetings that will be conducted such as oversight meetings with Owner/funding partners, project schedule meetings, contractor progress meetings, and design phase meetings with consultants, construction phase meetings with contractors.

Meetings are an essential part of management and supervision roles and responsibilities such as monitoring activities, reporting progress, assessing performance, and measuring quality of work. At the meetings, Agenda topics will be discussed, action items will be closed and new actions items will be assigned to project team members. As needed, the Project Manager will escalate and expedite resolution of issues or to obtain management decisions on topics outside the project team authority.

Effective and efficient meetings allow management personnel to spend more time on action items and on direct activities to assure continued progress. Conversely, an imbalance in the frequency of meetings and the time to complete assigned actions will make management less effective on direct and indirect activities. Project managers and the PMO need to find a balanced of process that avoid non-value added activities that detracts staff and takes manhours away from managing the essential deliverables.

Equally important, is properly documenting the discussions at the meetings and indicating the actions required for maintaining progress on direct and indirect activities. Meeting minutes should be concise, identify action items, due dates and assigned party. Critical decisions and approaches for work execution should be agreed upon and recorded for traceability along with appropriate documents that are part of the meeting handouts.

Good Practices for Project/Progress Meetings
• Schedule meetings in advance with a written purpose and Agenda
• Establish meeting times, dates and locations that are recurring on a calendar and that are aligned with PMO reporting periods and oversight meetings
• Provide copies of Agenda and handouts at the meeting and assure invited participants are consistent with the Project Management Plan
• Allow Subject Matter Experts to present deliverables, such as updated project schedules, financial reports, quality documentation, contract administration, and risk management
• Routinely engage participants in discussions and disposition of topics and action items
• Present progress based on specific data dates and consistent with other project reports and metrics
• Introduce new personnel or first time attendees prior to the start of the meeting
• Promptly generate and distribute Meeting Minutes so that action can be undertaken to report progress at the next meeting.

TIP: If the meeting Agenda includes obtaining comments on review of specific documents or making project decisions, the meeting Announcement should conspicuously indicate the expectation and the appropriate documents should be distributed with the Announcement.

Good Practices for Meeting Minutes
• Establish a consistent format for content, numbering and labeling
• Paraphrase discussions and assure actions are specific with due dates and assigned party
• Content should accurately reflect the meetings discussions
• Distribute Meeting Minutes and Handouts to all attendees and all non-attending invited team members
• Transmittal should highlight a summary of participants and assigned action items
• Record any progress made on action items since the meeting and up to issuance of the Minutes
• Rather than names use participant titles, departments or company names for contractors and consultants

TIP: Before distributing Meeting Minutes, check to see if there is any progress on action items since the meeting. As needed, update and distribute the Minutes with a note indicating the content reflects progress since the meeting.
      

Posted on: December 31, 2017 04:40 PM | Permalink

Comments (10)

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The content was originally published in November 2016 under DISCUSSIONS. With encouragement from my PM.com peers, it is now part of a BLOG. Check out the feedback on leadership skills and distribution of documents for review in advance of the meetings.

Glad You have it on a blog

Thank you Henry for sharing good practices of holding effective project meetings and it's follow up in the form of minutes of meetings.

Good tips.

Some good advice here. Thanks Henry.

Standard construction practice that peers in construction industry may follow. Good sharing. Thanks.

Good advice for me.

Good advice for me.

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