One of the major and probably the biggest responsibilities of project managers—aside from managing customers and requirements—is leading teams. Leading teams involves managing projects, schedules, and team member talent. In addition to leading teams, project managers often times need to coordinate and run meetings. Regardless of whether meetings take place in a large conference room or virtually, they can be nerve-wracking and tense.
One of the important communication methods in project management is documentation, training, and making sure team members are all on the same page. As we know, there are several ways to go about this. One is proper documentation, creating resources for team members and other project managers and setting up a proper and effective training routine. In addition to this, project managers can also communicate regular project data and schedules in team meetings.
However, project managers would agree that speaking in front of a group isn’t their favorite thing to do. Here are some tips on how to manage that meeting and keep teams organized and on task.
Introduction. It’s always best to introduce a meeting with a personal greet or introduction, if this is the first time you are meeting with a group. If you are feeling particularly humorous, you can open with a joke, as most public speakers do. All in all, taking a moment to be personable will help ease the tension if people are nervous or tense or stressed, and will help keep team members motivated and interested.
Agenda. There should always be a logical and organized agenda when going into a meeting. If a meeting involves reviewing or analyzing project reports, then consider sending copies of reports to team members ahead of time. This will give team members a chance to get organized and it saves time from having to review each and every project, or fighting with the printer three minutes before meeting time. Having an organized agenda will also show team members that you are on top of things, that you yourself are organized and will lead the team to success, and they will respect you for it.
Keep on task. One of the reasons why project managers and most team members dislike meetings is that they don’t always stay on task. Sometimes they can become very tense with issues or concerns are discussed, or sometimes they can go off on tangents that have nothing to do with projects or the tasks at hand. This bores and frustrates team members as it is a waste of time. Have a list of items to talk about, discuss each of them, ask for any feedback, and ultimately keep it short and sweet. Anything that comes up that needs further discussion or research should be taken offline and addressed later on an individual basis.
Managing meetings can be tense and stressful, and even nerve-wracking, but being organized, having an agenda to follow, and keep projects and conversations on task will help to ensure that meetings go smoothly and that the appropriate items and projects are addressed. This will keep everyone happy.