Project Management

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Topics: Career Development, Leadership, Talent Management
Online meetings (video), recording, streaming and projects
What, in your opinion, are the advantages and disadvantages of recording online meetings?

What is the effect of recording meetings on the behavior of team members?
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Apr 21, 2020 6:19 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Daire
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

To what extent can the recording of meetings be one:
- Barrier to innovation (for fear)?
- Communication barrier (loss of freedom of expression)?
Dear Luis,


[QUESTION] To what extent can the recording of meetings be one:

[1] - Barrier to innovation (for fear)?

People do not like their ideas and concepts shot down in front of their peers and work colleagues and with the advent of youtube and video streaming sites some team members maybe afraid that the content of these videos may get into the general public.

Some people do not like the way the look on video and may not want accessible video content that their work colleagues can see.

Also who would be able to view the content and how would it be distributed.

There is issue of who owns the content even if the organisation has employees sign this into their contracts as it would mean that the video would be only for internal use.

There has been examples of were employees have found their staff pictures used in official organisation marketing material without their knowledge so this could be another reason for not wanting to record meetings.

It is important for the project manager to create an environment that is conducive and constructive for their project team so the recording of meetings maybe more of a hindrance than a help.

[2] - Communication barrier (loss of freedom of expression)?"


Some people on a project team do not like to put their head above the parapet and prefer to work in the background, do the work their assigned and answer questions when asked in a meeting setting. They may be shy, not good a public speaking, introvert personality type, not the 'talkative type' and many other reasons.

There is a tendency to employ similar personalities on a project team as they are skills needed for managing projects however a diverse set of personalities across a project team is more beneficial than have a project team who are all outspoken, outgoing and sometime over eager to help.

Daire
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Apr 23, 2020 4:20 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Daire
Thank you for sharing your opinion with us

The points you mentioned are very important and make a fantastic contribution to the reflection of this topic
Luis

We record our online meetings. It helps everyone stay focused on the meetings without worrying about taking notes especially the minutes takes as they can go back and listen to the records then formulate the meeting minutes.

RK
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Apr 23, 2020 4:22 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Rami
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

In addition to the advantages you mentioned, are there any drawbacks to recording meetings?
Apr 21, 2020 9:31 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

How do you measure the intention with which things are done these days?
To what extent can the change of the Project Manager and / or the managers send the intention to cyberspace?

What advantages do you see when recording meetings? And what are the drawbacks?
It all comes back to trust. If the PM or leader says one thing but does another, you know they can't be trusted.

The main advantages of recording meetings are:

- Making it easier to write up the minutes
- Having an audit trail
- Helping those who couldn't attend the meeting get up to speed

The downsides of recording meetings are:

- The Hawthorne effect
- Privacy concerns
- Depending on the quality of the recording and how well people's voices were recorded some of the content might not have been recorded

Kiron
...
2 replies by Luis Branco and Peter Rapin
Apr 21, 2020 4:12 PM
Peter Rapin
...
I take exception to your first statement:"It all comes back to trust. If the PM or leader says one thing but does another, you know they can't be trusted."

Other possibilities include:
1) failure to understand what was said
2) poor wording or statement
3) transmission static
4) change in conditions requiring adjustment in strategy

Too many people lose focus during on-line meetings and later assume based on later discussion. Also, people are too busy organizing their thoughts for a response rather then actually listening to the entire statement being made. Thirdly, there may be significant secondary discussions going on concurrently, and forth, the speaker is not always identified by all participants.

Thus, a forth bullet for 'downside' is a higher probability of misunderstandings. This, as well as the other risks, can be mitigated but some thought has to be applied. An in-line meeting is to be managed different than a face-to-face.
Apr 23, 2020 4:40 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for sharing your opinion with us

Very interesting pros and cons pointed out by you

Do you know the story of the frog?

If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it reacts by jumping out of the pot

If you put a frog in a pot of water and put a pot on the fire the water will increase the temperature, the frog will get used to it and adapt until it ends up being cooked

That's where the expression comes from: "it was fried over a low heat"

The Project Manager must be perfectly located in organizations.
How reliable is the guarantee offered by the organization?
it is enough to change management, to change policies, processes and procedures

Sometimes there is no need to change the management :-)
Apr 21, 2020 3:42 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
It all comes back to trust. If the PM or leader says one thing but does another, you know they can't be trusted.

The main advantages of recording meetings are:

- Making it easier to write up the minutes
- Having an audit trail
- Helping those who couldn't attend the meeting get up to speed

The downsides of recording meetings are:

- The Hawthorne effect
- Privacy concerns
- Depending on the quality of the recording and how well people's voices were recorded some of the content might not have been recorded

Kiron
I take exception to your first statement:"It all comes back to trust. If the PM or leader says one thing but does another, you know they can't be trusted."

Other possibilities include:
1) failure to understand what was said
2) poor wording or statement
3) transmission static
4) change in conditions requiring adjustment in strategy

Too many people lose focus during on-line meetings and later assume based on later discussion. Also, people are too busy organizing their thoughts for a response rather then actually listening to the entire statement being made. Thirdly, there may be significant secondary discussions going on concurrently, and forth, the speaker is not always identified by all participants.

Thus, a forth bullet for 'downside' is a higher probability of misunderstandings. This, as well as the other risks, can be mitigated but some thought has to be applied. An in-line meeting is to be managed different than a face-to-face.
...
2 replies by Kiron Bondale and Luis Branco
Apr 22, 2020 8:06 AM
Kiron Bondale
...
Peter -

Why would you feel that a recording of an on-line meeting would overcome the risk of misunderstanding? Just because I can verify "what" was said, I might still miss "how" it was said in terms of body language, tone and so on.

I was responding to Luis's follow up question to my original response - he had asked "To what extent can the change of the Project Manager and / or the managers send the intention to cyberspace?" and I was responding to that...
Apr 23, 2020 9:49 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Peter
Thank you for sharing your opinion with us

The support of Trust is the Character and the Competence manifested by the Project Manager

The 4 Dimensions of Credibility are Integrity, Intention, Training and Results

Often the Project Manager's intention may not be the same as that of the Organization
Hi Luis,

The way I see it.
Advantages: it is a quick, effortless way to record meetings, and recording can be used as minutes from the meeting. The recording provides also really objective representation of the meeting - what was said and discussed.

Disadvantages: it can be inconvenient to quickly check or search the minutes for a specific point of discussion, or a quick overview, one has to either watch the whole meeting video, or fast forward the recording, but then you lose the whole picture. I personally prefer to have minutes written (call me old school :) ), so one can quickly go through them to get the whole picture and focus on a certain point which interests me. As said earlier, people are not quite open to pose questions or discuss when there is recording of the meeting.
Another disadvantage, or more like comparison to the standard way of taking minutes, is that in the written minutes, people tend to scrap the emotions from statements, while the recording takes a snapshot of a specific moment in time, including the emotions. If someone may have had a rough time before meeting and expresses some emotions or be more critical, this will stay in the recording, which may not be of his / hers advantage in a long run.
I find it a good practice, and to be well received by the participants, to ask at the beginning of the meeting all participants if it is ok to record the meeting. I think the people then feel more relaxed. But from my experience, this does not happen in all the meetings.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Apr 23, 2020 9:53 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Milena
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

The advantages and disadvantages pointed out by you are relevant and should be taken into account before deciding whether or not to record online meetings.
Apr 21, 2020 4:12 PM
Replying to Peter Rapin
...
I take exception to your first statement:"It all comes back to trust. If the PM or leader says one thing but does another, you know they can't be trusted."

Other possibilities include:
1) failure to understand what was said
2) poor wording or statement
3) transmission static
4) change in conditions requiring adjustment in strategy

Too many people lose focus during on-line meetings and later assume based on later discussion. Also, people are too busy organizing their thoughts for a response rather then actually listening to the entire statement being made. Thirdly, there may be significant secondary discussions going on concurrently, and forth, the speaker is not always identified by all participants.

Thus, a forth bullet for 'downside' is a higher probability of misunderstandings. This, as well as the other risks, can be mitigated but some thought has to be applied. An in-line meeting is to be managed different than a face-to-face.
Peter -

Why would you feel that a recording of an on-line meeting would overcome the risk of misunderstanding? Just because I can verify "what" was said, I might still miss "how" it was said in terms of body language, tone and so on.

I was responding to Luis's follow up question to my original response - he had asked "To what extent can the change of the Project Manager and / or the managers send the intention to cyberspace?" and I was responding to that...
...
2 replies by Luis Branco and Peter Rapin
Apr 22, 2020 8:41 AM
Peter Rapin
...
I believe I wrote that I was of the opinion there is a greater chance of misunderstanding with recorded on-line meetings due to failure to focus, transmission issues, failure to identify speaker. Add to that your point of "how" it was said. However, the "how" applies even more so to written minutes as body language, tone, etc is rarely recorded - "Joe agreed with the decision while rolling his eyes"
Apr 23, 2020 9:58 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us

I remember your answer to a topic about the Code of Ethics and the gap between what should be done and what is done

I believe that this issue must be integrated into our reflection. What do you think?
Hello LB,
i started recording MS Teams meetings because:
1)Unable to attend all meetings related to the project i'm managing.
2)Not always understood about business members requirements.

I ask permission in the beginning.

MS Stream, the program included in MS Office 365 package, lets you trim and share video afterwards.

I decided to try a month ago, in my opinion as said, it may help to clarify doubts and unfold requirements,

After a month experience it, more than a dozen meetings recorded, some people approve, others don't.
Not easy to manage, so i only record the meeting if all the people attending agree.

As everything there is the positive and the negative perspective about the situation.

As project manager, it's one more tool at my disposition.

best regards
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Apr 23, 2020 1:10 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Tiago
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Weighing things well, there are more pros and cons to using your cameras and recording meetings. Did I interpret what you meant?
Apr 22, 2020 8:06 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Peter -

Why would you feel that a recording of an on-line meeting would overcome the risk of misunderstanding? Just because I can verify "what" was said, I might still miss "how" it was said in terms of body language, tone and so on.

I was responding to Luis's follow up question to my original response - he had asked "To what extent can the change of the Project Manager and / or the managers send the intention to cyberspace?" and I was responding to that...
I believe I wrote that I was of the opinion there is a greater chance of misunderstanding with recorded on-line meetings due to failure to focus, transmission issues, failure to identify speaker. Add to that your point of "how" it was said. However, the "how" applies even more so to written minutes as body language, tone, etc is rarely recorded - "Joe agreed with the decision while rolling his eyes"
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Apr 23, 2020 1:14 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Peter
Thank you for sharing your opinion with us

Interesting your observation about body language ... (you can observe it better when you are watching the videos)

We will still have doctoral theses on this topic :-)
Apr 21, 2020 10:01 AM
Replying to Peter Rapin
...
My preference is to avoid recording of 'working sessions' and 'brainstorming' meetings as it will inhibit free and open discussion. However, there may be value in recording formal decision meetings. Even in face-to-face meetings there can be misunderstandings - even more so with on-line meetings.

That being said, there are a number of considerations with regards to on-line meetings:
1) Someone may be recording the meeting regardless of any official position on the matter. It may be better to have the official rather than personal version.
2) The recorded meetings are not subject to participant review as are minutes or notes thus there is no filter to 'deal' with miss-statements or misunderstandings. (- that is not what I meant or - I misspoke).
3) recordings can end up in the wrong hands, taken out of context or manipulated
4) a recorded session could become a 'show' with participants playing to the recording rather than exploring potential solutions to project issues.
5) Some participants may be more comfortable and familiar with recorded meetings than others and monopolize the meeting.

In my experience there are times when I wish I had a recording of someone's commitment and other times where I think "thank God no one recorded that."

In the end I agree that on-line meeting have a different dynamic than face-to-face. There are pros and cons (benefits and risks) to recording meetings and one has to be aware of these and mitigate accordingly.
Dear Peter
Thank you for sharing your opinion with us

Interesting points for reflection that brought to the debate

We agree when you write: "In the end I agree that on-line meeting have a different dynamic than face-to-face. There are pros and cons (benefits and risks) to recording meetings and one has to be aware of these and mitigate accordingly "
Like any other information, video recordings can be viewed as having permanent or transitionary business value.

When you record a meeting as an input to the preparation of meeting minutes, the value is transitionary. The recording should be deleted once its purpose has been satisfied.

When you record a presentation for the purpose of re-broadcasting, it becomes an organizational asset and needs to be protected as such.

I will leave it to lawyers to equivocate on the legal value of video recordings.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Apr 23, 2020 1:19 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Stéphane
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

Interesting your approach: Under what circumstances can online video recording of meetings be used

Really, I had not analyzed the situation in this perspective: "I will leave it to lawyers to equivocate on the legal value of video recordings"
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