Project Management

How to Effectively Manage a Progress Meeting

On today’s agenda is the topic of progress meetings. What’s that you say? Not planning for a discussion about progress meetings? Well in that case, prepare for a brief overview on a topic that’s pivotal to successful project execution. As Paul Naybour argues in a post for APM, not having an agenda for a project progress meeting spells dysfunction.

No Details Allowed

As project manager you’ll first need to herd away all of the topics that don’t effectively address progress. A list of things to avoid during a project meeting might include:

  • Grievances
  • Change requests
  • Technical minutiae

The Progress Meeting – At a Glance

A progress meeting is a one hour flash update on all aspects of project progress, including a summary of any issues that are affecting that progress. By keeping things short, you limit the amount of nonsense that can infiltrate the discussion, but also hedge against the inevitable boredom that will encroach.

The first step to ensuring an effective progress meeting is having an agenda that will function to remind all those attending just what they should expect to learn about / provide. This is also a great way to restate and to clarify the project’s objective in so many words. Restating the project objective within the meeting is a useful way to keep the discussion from veering off course.

Three, meetings are excellent benchmarks. The work that’s transpired between them can be addressed in a convenient, segmented fashion. “Progress points” that might be discussed during meetings include “progress updates, assigning actions or revising the schedule where necessary.”

Be sure to incorporate the input of all attendees, as the goal is to unify and organize the various roles and perspectives of the project. During a meeting, everyone deserves their chance to speak up and share information. And of course, there is no progress without action! Therefore, delegate action items and use the next meeting for follow up on those items. For holding projects together, there is no better glue than a well-managed progress meeting!

Read the original blog at:

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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