We've spent a lot of time in the last few weeks discussing the importance of detailed planning in keeping your project meetings - and therefore your projects - running smoothly. We've shared with you a meeting agenda template for project kick-off meetings, which have to cover a wide range of goals and responsibility assignments.
After your project gets rolling comes the fun part - actually doing the work. This, of course, requires regular meetings by the core project team: the PMs, developers and immediate business stakeholders who get their hands dirty making that project charter a reality.
Our partners at Info-Tech Research Group have developed a Project Team Meeting Agenda Template that embraces the task-oriented nature of these meetings and how much information needs to be shared with team members. The Word-based template is available free to IT Business Edge members here in the IT Downloads library.
The most important thing to note about this template is the level of detail and planning it requires. The template is three pages long, and that before you add your specific issues and tasks. It can't be stressed enough: Successful meetings require a lot of homework, and this template reflects that reality.
The first section of the template calls for a Gantt-based status report on the project's progress, as you can see in the image below.
The template includes a copy-and-paste of this information from the Project Planning and Monitoring Tool, which is also available here in the IT Downloads library. Of course, if your company uses a different tracking tool, you can easily include that information here. The point to take away is that in a team meeting, the granularity of a Gantt presentation is appropriate, where you may want to go with a more simple status format in reports meant for a wider audience.
After the status report, the template calls for specific updates on tasks assigned specifically for the last week, as you can see in the figure below.
Next, the meeting moves on to address standard new business and risk, and then wraps up with a discussion of tasks assigned for the coming week.
It's a lot of information to cover in under an hour. But then again, that's why PMs should put so much energy into creating comprehensive meeting agendas. The discussion of the Gantt status chart should, in a perfect world, go something like this:
"Ok, you all have reviewed the status update. Any questions?"
"Moving on the last week's tasks "
It's incumbent on all team members to review this agenda before the meeting, so distributing it a couple days before the meeting is a must. If you are met with blank stares in the project meeting, at least you will have the platform of a strong meeting agenda to fall back on to correct the problem.