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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 10:01 AM
Replying to Peter Rapin
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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,

I agree with your point that some team members may use the recording of meetings as a stage to manipulate the work environment for their own benefit.

Off course this may happen without the meetings being recorded but I have found that when people are being recorded, even if its at a wedding or a family occasion, their persona and personality changes especially if they do not know those person present very well.

it seems that it is an opportunity to inflate their personality and come across as a completely different personality.

I think the recording or meetings for latter playback give rise to such instances occurring and as a result you are not getting a true picture of this person.

With this they may try to play down or play up their strengths and weaknesses which does not bode well for the project team or the project.

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

Behavior repeated several times can be internalized.

Will the behavior resulting from the recording of the online meetings be better than the previous one?

I leave the question here
Apr 21, 2020 10:15 AM
Replying to Tim PM
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I could see the consent process being a pain at the start of a meeting - especially a virtual one. And what happens if people, e.g. external suppliers, decline....
Dear Tim
Thank you for sharing your opinion with us

Platforms can be configured to start filming meetings automatically

I believe that, at the beginning, the protocol of asking if the participants accept that the meeting is filmed is fulfilled.

Over time, the footage becomes the "new normal" and, as a consequence, the actors are not asked anything
Apr 21, 2020 10:18 AM
Replying to Daire Guiney
...
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
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
...
1 reply by Daire Guiney
Apr 23, 2020 5:27 AM
Daire Guiney
...
Dear Luis,

Thanking you for creating the topic and monitoring and controlling it so well.

Daire
Apr 21, 2020 11:43 AM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
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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
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 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
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 :-)
...
1 reply by Peter Rapin
Apr 23, 2020 9:39 AM
Peter Rapin
...
I appreciate the frog story. I have been both the frog and the cook, sometimes concurrently - the frog to my seniors and cook to my juniors. Lessons learned have allowed me (hopefully) to avoid both in my later years but still recognize the symptoms.

Some see this as evolution, a new idea is brought in slowly and gradually accepted - if it turns out to be a good idea (innovation) - its evolution, if bad - its a boiled frog.
Apr 23, 2020 4:20 AM
Replying to 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
Dear Luis,

Thanking you for creating the topic and monitoring and controlling it so well.

Daire
...
2 replies by Luis Branco
Apr 23, 2020 1:26 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Daire:
Thank you for sharing your opinion with us

In general, I really like to know people's opinions (and, honestly, I wish there were more) because it helps me to reflect from multiple perspectives

Thank you for appreciating the way I encourage people to give their opinion
Apr 24, 2020 4:58 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Daire
I believe that consulting people is a good practice in Project Management and in life

I strongly recommend that all Project Managers do so
Apr 23, 2020 4:40 AM
Replying to 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 :-)
I appreciate the frog story. I have been both the frog and the cook, sometimes concurrently - the frog to my seniors and cook to my juniors. Lessons learned have allowed me (hopefully) to avoid both in my later years but still recognize the symptoms.

Some see this as evolution, a new idea is brought in slowly and gradually accepted - if it turns out to be a good idea (innovation) - its evolution, if bad - its a boiled frog.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Apr 23, 2020 5:36 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Peter
Thank you for sharing your opinion with us

I also find this story of the boiled frog very funny and, above all, quite pedagogical

Sometimes organizations use this strategy and when we find out, we’re cooked

I call this strategy to have a card hidden up its sleeve

Project Managers are often unaware of this situation

It is necessary to develop a critical sense and the ability to listen and observe and validate the real intentions of the top management of companies
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.
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
...
1 reply by Peter Rapin
Apr 23, 2020 10:07 AM
Peter Rapin
...
the point I was trying to make, apparently not too clearly, is that you should not judge trustworthiness based solely on one's impression from a recorded on-line meeting. What you heard, saw and/or understood may not be what was intended. Additionally the situation may have changed since the recorded meeting.

I am in agreement that trust within the team and organization is paramount in the successful delivery of the project.

I'm not sure what you meant with the last statement; "Often the Project Manager's intention may not be the same as that of the Organization"? Typically the PM is retained by the Organization, directed by the Organization, mandated by the Organization and thus is the Organization. If there is an issue of trust between the PM and the Organization the project has no hope of success.
Apr 22, 2020 3:39 AM
Replying to Milena Ilieva
...
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.
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 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...
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?
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