2.5 Project meetings schedule
You need to decide early on what meetings are essential to the monitoring process. All your stakeholders will expect to receive reports at regular intervals, whether formally or informally. So you need to ask yourself:
Who needs to be informed?
By what means?
Effective communication involves giving information, collecting information and listening to people. To ensure the smooth running of your project, you might need any or all of the following:
formal minuted meetings which probably run to a schedule which is outside your control;
meetings with your sponsor (which might be on a one-to-one basis);
progress meetings with the project team;
individual meetings on a one-to-one basis with team members;
ad hoc problem-solving meetings when particular issues need to be resolved.
Meetings need a clear purpose and focus, and they should be recorded on project schedules. They should be time-limited and given proper priority in diaries, so that time is not wasted by waiting for inputs from key people. Meetings will only be respected if they are managed to avoid wasting time and effort.
Prepare an agenda for a project meeting for a recent project that you have worked on. What is the purpose of the meeting? Who needs to be invited to the meeting? What will their interest be in attending the meeting?
In preparing the agenda, you might also consider what else you need to make available at the meeting. Will you do a slide presentation? Will you give the participants at the meeting copies of the overheads? Is a project status report going to be delivered? Will you need to provide a summary of the key points of this report? What questions might the participants ask?