Can we please put an end to bad project status meetings?

‘It’s really important we have status meetings so we all know where each other are and make sure we are linking up across the project.” I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve heard that statement. And yet, for all of the good intentions and commitments to make them more action orientated so many hours of project teams lives are wasted in these round robins - that may give the PM what they need but do little for everyone else.

Can we please put an end to bad project status meetings?

‘It’s really important we have status meetings so we all know where each other are and make sure we are linking up across the project.”

I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve heard that statement.

And yet, for all of the good intentions and commitments to make them more action orientated so many hours of project teams lives are wasted in these round robins - that may give the PM what they need but do little for everyone else.

What’s really interesting is that in many cases, those meetings seem to have come about because it’s the only way a PM gets the updates they need. 

Their attempts to ask for regular updates from the team as part of any status reporting have failed so miserably that they’ve had to fall back onto creating yet another meeting.

Far from being a fix for the team as a whole, what should be a matter of a few minutes updates for each team member, with a potential follow up where more discussion is needed, becomes yet another standing 30 minute diary hog.

For the sake of project teams the world over, we have to find a better way.

A way that prompts for updates before meetings, a way that makes it unforgivably easy for everyone to provide those updates, a way that meets the purposes of both keeping everyone informed and producing any necessary onward reporting. 

That way those meetings can focus on teams working together to unblock the challenges that all projects pose. Or if they’re just not needed, give everyone that 30 minutes back to do something, anything that isn’t what they put up with now

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