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Newsletter January 2020

$37 billion per year is wasted on unproductive meetings in the U.S., according to the Small Business Newsroom.

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Are your project managers (PMs) good stewards of your meeting money? If not, GBMC recommends the following three tips.

1. Review and revise company guidance for project meetings.  Your PM organization should have established methods and tools for planning, conducting, and following up on project meetings. Give guidance about the type and frequency of meetings; whether a meeting is needed at all; the purpose of the meeting and how your PMs control the meeting.  Train them to be efficient and effective meeting leaders. 

2. Give PMs meeting tools.  Once your organization is up to date with meeting technology, ensure your PMs have templates, checklists and the means to issue minutes of meeting quickly. Go with the philosophy of “less is more.” When your PMs are still learning, support them in the planning phase. Have a template that helps them think through the purpose of the meeting.  Is it to pass along information? Is it for making a decision? Is it a bid review or clarification of a contract meeting? A kickoff meeting?  Each type of meeting should have a specific way to conduct it, but all should have a timed agenda. And here’s a curve ball…Let them know it’s OK to not invite or even uninvite participants if the person cannot contribute to the purpose of the meeting. Help them reduce waste by providing the right tools.

3. Reward good meeting behavior.  Here’s the tough part—the human factor. Many PMs struggle with controlling discussions, managing conflict and holding meeting participants accountable for actions. Even when your PMs master the planning skills, conducting the meeting requires additional skills in the leadership domain. Think through what should be on your PMs’ development plans:  facilitation, negotiation, listening, even writing and public speaking. Show them what “good” looks like, and maintain a high standard.


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