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How to Make Project Meetings Relevant to Everyone

Some meetings are just plain boring! Just because the information is not interesting to everyone doesn’t mean things can’t be spruced up a bit. No matter what your stance on making meetings successful, Elizabeth Harrin writing for a Girl’s Guide to Project Management discusses useful tips for keeping everyone in the loop without boring them to death.

Options, Options

For starters, you could let attendees bring other work to do. They’ll chime in when the discussion is relevant to them, or people could be called in as needed. Maybe a separate meeting could be held for each group. Barring these options, Harrin says there are a few things you can do to make meetings as productive as possible.

All Ears on Deck

Getting all the right people in the same room isn’t always an easy task. If you can actually accomplish this, don’t waste the opportunity. At times, team members will overhear important information they didn’t know was relevant to their job. And of course, everyone likes to be included:

Start the meeting by identifying anyone who has critical work to do or other meetings and who cannot stay for the whole thing. Discuss topics relevant to them first. Then let them go if they have to.

There’s got to be some basic rules if you’re going to let members work while the meeting is in session: no phone calls (seems obvious, but…), no frantic keyboard clicking, no headphones (of course not!). You could seat people in a way that minimizes distractions.

Minus Meetings

Here’s a concept: have less meetings. There’s a smart way to cut down on these redundant reunions. Try having one big meeting only once per week, with smaller team meetings on a daily basis.

Recommended Reading

If you’re still not sold on ideas for improving the productivity of meetings, Harrin recommends two books: Collaboration Explained, by Jean Tabaka and How to Be a Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcott. Happy meetings!

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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