Project managers need to have a detailed understanding of the progress of the project by conducting periodic review meetings. This includes retrospection of two important aspects of a project – what was initially envisaged and what actually has been achieved so far.
Tips to ensure that project review meetings are effective:
1. Discussion with the key team members: It is essential for every project manager to have a brief informal discussion with key team members on a regular basis. This ensures that the project manager is up-to-date with project developments and can call for a review meeting as soon as there is a need for a project review for trouble shooting.
2. Have a detailed project review of your own: It is important for a project manager to have a detailed review of the project and to scrutinize each of the tasks completed earlier. By doing so, the project manager himself is prepared for the meeting. He identifies all the possible issues that need to be discussed with respect to the project.
3. Circulate the agenda: Without an agenda, it often becomes difficult to understand as to which direction the meeting is heading towards. Therefore, it is important for a project manager to circulate the agenda to all the participants beforehand. This gives them an overview of the purpose of the meeting and each member can be prepared with the necessary documents or answers ahead of the scheduled meeting. This saves time and ensures that the meeting goes according to the planned agenda.
4. Get the right people to attend: Decisions are usually taken by someone who is part of senior management. It is therefore important for a project manager to make sure that a person who has the authority to take decisions attends the meeting.
5. Start by specifying its objectives: It is necessary to start a meeting by specifying the objectives in the agenda. This gives the direction for the review meeting and ensures that the objectives are in focus throughout the meeting.
6. Compare the project’s current status with the original project plan: A quick retrospection of the project status needs to be done. This enables the entire project team to understand the glitches in the project and also identify the origin of any problem or issues of concern.
7. Stick to the original plan: After identifying the possible reasons for any glitches, it is better to rectify the same and steer the project as per the original plan or agenda rather than allowing it to drift in an uncontrolled manner. Ignoring little deviations could pose problems in future, impacting the viability of the project.
8. Keep the timings short: Ensure that meetings are not too long. Otherwise, it may result to disengagement of the employees or fatigue or boredom.
9. Recapitulation: Once the relevant decisions are made and the subsequent strategies are fixed, it is better to wind up the meeting by giving a brief summary of the entire session and recapitulating the important decisions that have been made.
10. Prepare a report: Depending on the situation and the actions that need to be taken, a simple report needs to be prepared within 24 hrs of the meeting. After the compilation part is over, circulate it among the team members, so that they all have a copy each at their disposal for reference.
These are the few tips which will enable the project manager to conduct successful project review meetings.
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