I was trying to get hold of the project manager. Or rather he was trying to get hold of me. However, I had tried 3 times already so I sent him an email knowing it would sink to the bottom of the pile.
I got to thinking that it wasn’t just this project manager who always seemed to be in meetings. Several people I have been trying to get hold of always seem to be in back to back meetings.
Project Agency has been collecting statistics for several years. Some 1,120 people have completed our questionnaire and one of the questions is quite revealing:
‘Project meetings are collaborative events which look at achievements not past failures’. The percentages are shown below:
Strongly agree: 1.3% (15 people)
Agree: 5.6% (289 people)
Disagree: 57.3% (648 people)
Strongly Disagree 12.6% (143 people)
Don’t know 3.2% (36 people)
Not very good stats are they? Interesting that 36 people do not know how effective their meetings are!!
So, what can be done? Well, here are some golden rules for project management meetings (and meetings in general):
Rule 1: Ensure you have the right people there. May seem obvious but how many meetings go ahead with the wrong people there and the right people ‘on the way’ or a key stakeholder not even invited?
Rule 2: Have an agenda for each meeting and against each item put a time (the length of time the item will take). Ensure you stick to the stated time.