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.