May 14, 2010

To Meet or Not To Meet?

The following clip represents how I feel about a lot of the meetings I have to attend:

During our day-to-day jobs, it is easy to get lost in spreadsheets, software programs, charts in trying to keep a project on track. Although reports, tracking systems and memos can supply needed updates, face-to-face meetings – and the open communications they encourage – can be the most important aspect in the project life.

Here are some examples of meetings that should take place over the course of the project:

Key Turnover Meetings: Their purpose is to pass project information from departments currently involved with the project to departments coming on board. For example, engineering to fabrication or engineering to field installation.

Weekly Project Team Meetings: These meetings allow team members to interact, evaluate schedules, and address problems or issues. This gives the project manager/leader an opportunity to assess the project status and adjust manpower to ensure the team will meet milestone objectives.

Customer Meetings: These meetings allow the customer and project manager/leader to communicate design information. It is imperative to keep the customer involved to ensure there are no discrepancies between what the customer wants and what is delivered.

Notwithstanding schedule conflicts, business travel, and e-mails that provide a ready excuse for the non-personal exchange of information, face-to-face meetings should occur whenever possible as the project moves from stage to stage. When the last milestone is reached, the project manager/leader conducts a “post-project meeting” with the team. Team members provide candid input about “what went well” and “what went badly” and offer suggestions on how to improve future projects.

This has been proven to me many times over the years, looking another person in the eye and getting there commitment is so much more powerful than a telephone call or e-mail exchange. It becomes personal.


  1. Yeah nothing like face-to-face and real people not virtual!

  2. Love that poster at the end. So true. (Hugs)Indigo

  3. Like your way of thinking, sir. We've sold our right to accuracy with in-person meets, for the expediency of the e-world. Is it worth it? Not to the guy who gets someone else's credit report.

  4. The lack of face to face in society has resulted in proxy meetings through technology. Also the importance of some redundancy and overlap makes many dismissive of meetings.

    Even with their CVA drawbacks, meetings are essential to get team members on the same page and focused.

  5. Hi Ken,
    I agree ... face-to-face meetings are important. So much of communication is non-verbal, you miss all that if you're just on the phone or in a videoconference.

  6. Ken you are cool I like that. I laughed when the dude ask about the long term partner does that make u a HOMO, WE need to laugh and to have more conversations about this matter. Thanks


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