Running an Effective Project Meeting
(Bonus: Project Meeting Agenda and Minutes Templates)
Project meetings are periodically conducted to keep track of the project status, to discuss any issues that have arisen, and make decisions when needed. The frequency of a project meeting is usually determined by the project manager. However, there are times when emergency meetings must be called; especially if there are pressing issues that need to be immediately resolved.
Aside from the reasons mentioned above, project meetings may also have other purposes. A kickoff meeting is usually conducted at the initial stage of the project. The purpose of the kickoff meeting is to define the project, its objectives, and introduce the members of the project team. A planning meeting is where the team discusses the project plan, and roles and responsibilities are assigned. A project meeting may also be called if there is a need for the team to present the project or its status to the top management or the stakeholders. Lastly, when a project reaches a significant milestone, a project meeting is, likewise, conducted.
With all these things being done, discussed, and decided during a meeting, it is critical that the meeting runs smoothly and has been properly documented.
- How to Run an Efficient Project Meeting Part 1
- Efficient Project Meeting Free Download Part 2
- How to Make Meeting Agendas 10x Easier Part 3
- How to Spend Less Time on Meetings Part 4
- Additional Sources Part 5
How to run an efficient project meeting:
- 1. Whatever the purpose of the project meeting is, it is imperative to prepare a meeting agenda prior to sending out of a notice of the meeting. The meeting agenda sets the direction of the meeting, and a meeting without one is futile. It will also give the organizer or the coordinator an idea of how long the meeting will last. The participants will also be prepared for what they need to report and the issues to be discussed in relation to the meeting agenda.
- 2. Project meeting agenda examples may include updates on the activities being implemented under the project, reports on the financial status of the project or introduction of new team members. There are a variety of different project meeting agenda templates available online which may be downloaded and used to inform the meeting participants about the lineup of topics to be discussed.
- 3. Reports may be sent in advance together with the notice of the meeting so that participants will have more time to review them and make some notes. By doing this before the actual meeting, time will be more efficiently spent discussing the most important matters at the meeting.
- 4. Arrange the topics for discussion according to the most important down to the least important. Each item should have a maximum time allocated for its discussion. Since each topic will have a different level of importance, the allotted time for different items may not be the same. Assign a timekeeper to keep track of time and to remind the group how much time is left.
- 5. The agenda should include a review of the milestones from the previous time-frame and a short discussion of key accomplishments. There should also be a discussion of the following period and its expected outcomes. Ask the group if they anticipate any major risks or issues during this stage of the project so that the group may address those issues if necessary.
- 6. Taking down minutes of the project meeting also plays an important factor. The team may customize a project status meeting minutes template to ensure that all relevant points of the discussion are noted. Using one will also save time since it will be easier for the team secretary or anyone assigned to take the minutes since there will be no need for them to think of the format in which the minutes should be presented. A useful reference about writing the minutes of the meetings can be found here.
Project Meeting Minutes: Free Download
Free online tools to manage projects:
1. Status.net for Daily and Weekly Status Reports
2. Free Project and Task Management Software Fluxes.com
Project Meeting Agenda: Free Download
Free online tools for work:
1. Fluxes.com — Free Project and Task Management Software
2. Status.net — Software for Daily and Weekly Status Reports
How to Make Meeting Agendas and Minutes 10x Easier
How to configure meeting agendas and/or meeting minutes online:
- Create a “Meeting Agenda” or “Meeting Minutes” applet on status.net — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders
- Configure who will submit it by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill it in and submit it.
- Participants can comment on a meeting agenda in its comments section, which ensures the right context for discussion and further reference.
- Mention those people who you want to take action or pay attention by using @ before their names. These people will receive personal notifications on their status accounts and by email.@mention a team member in your meeting agenda or in its comments section by using “@” and your team member’s name.Example comment: “@Peter and @Mary, do you have any comments regarding the “Metrics” section? @Don, are you coming to the meeting?”
In this case, Peter, Mary, Don will automatically receive an additional personal notification, so they know they’re expected to take action or pay attention and won’t forget to add their input in the meeting agenda’s comments section.
Info such as the date and the name of the person will be added automatically.
As soon as a new meeting agenda/minutes record is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time when they log in to their status.net accounts. They will also automatically receive an email notification.
Step 3 (Optional): Print it.
(Skip this step if you share meeting agendas and minutes online and don’t print them.)
- Choose date
- Click “file” button
- Click “Generate”
Sign up now to make your team happier and more productive.
- Make meeting agendas and minutes instantly available to the meeting participants.
- Save time with auto completion:
Fields such as date, name, formatting, etc. are inserted automatically by software.
- For regular meetings:
Configure recurrence and assign people who will receive automatic reminders to create and share upcoming meeting agendas and/or minutes.
- For irregular meetings:
Start your agenda with info about the meeting date, time and place and this will work as mass-notification: status.net will automatically send emails with full text to all participants as soon as you submit it.
- Improve meeting agendas with the option to gather info for the upcoming meeting agenda from participants.
- Draw attention of specific team members by using the “mentions” feature, if you need input or comments from those people. When you @mention your team members, they will receive a separate personal notification by email.
- Easy sharing:
Meeting agendas and minutes can be either
— exported to files and printed;
— shared online with selected people (in this case, an email with the full text of the meeting agenda will be sent automatically to those with “View” permission); or
— shared online company-wide or team-wide (the latest meeting agenda will be available online and a notification email will be sent automatically to each team member).
How to Spend Less Time on Meetings
How to use status.net for status reports:
- Easily implement daily or weekly status reports for your team members by creating a status feed with questions like “What did you do today?” or “How did you contribute to the team’s goals this week?”.
- Peace of mind:
No one forgets to fill in their status reports because status.net sends timely reminders according to the recurrence schedule you chose.
- Increase workplace satisfaction by improving transparency:
Each status update has a separate section for comments, which is used by team members to clarify information, including upcoming goals, and by leaders to provide feedback and coordinate better without micromanagement.
- Use status reports for future reference and decrease time and efforts spent on monthly, quarterly, and yearly reporting thanks to powerful filtering and export features.
- Optionally, enrich reports with the latest updates automatically added from web apps your team uses (such as free task management software Fluxes.com, and other project management tools, version control systems, support systems, financial applications, etc.) by connecting these apps to your status applet.
- Spend less time on meetings by making them more productive because everyone is on the same page at all times.
- Sharing: Status reports can be either
— exported to files and printed, or sent by email;
— shared with manager online (in this case, an email with the full text of the status report will be sent automatically); or
— shared online as company-wide or team-wide status reports, i.e., all team members share their progress with each other.
How to configure status reports on status.net:
- Create a “Status Report” applet — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders when their reports are due.
- Configure who will submit reports by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill in and submit the report.
Data such as the report type, date and name will be added automatically.
As soon as a new status report is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time.
- Set the applet as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view each other’s status reports.
- Alternatively, you can make every participant to view his/her own reports only. Manager/stakeholders will view all reports.
- Add, remove, and assign new team members at any time.
Step 3 (Optional): Generate a report and export it to PDF.
(Skip this step if you share status reports online and don’t print them.)
Click “Generate Report”.
See also: How to Make Meeting Agendas 10x Easier
- How to Run a Productive Status Meeting + Free Download
- How to Write Meeting Minutes + Free Download
- How to Write a Project Status Report + Free Template Download