Meetings in project management
An important part of formal communication within a project are the meetings, and therefore there are several that are usually applied in most of them. Below, I am going to list the most important meetings in project management and their objectives. It is up to you as project manager to define and organize those meetings you consider necessary.
Remember that the time spent in meetings should be proportional to the benefit you get from them, since they also subtract effective execution time.
Kick-Off Project Meeting
As the name implies, this meeting represents the formal start of the project and is located between the initiation and planning phases.
It is recommended that this meeting be attended by the client or end user, key stakeholders, management, as well as the main components of the project team, as it is the first opportunity to confirm that all project members have the same idea about the project objectives and constraints, or to detect that this is not the case.
Thus, this meeting should cover the following basic points:
- Introduce and formalize the project director.
- Introduce the main members of the project, defining the role and responsibility of each one.
- Define and clarify the scope. This also allows you to detect discrepancies or better define its characteristics.
- Define and clarify the constraints.
- Presentation of the project approach.
Internal Kick-Off Meeting in projects
This meeting is held at the beginning of the project, after the previous meeting, and after each stage; with the objective of formalizing the start of the project, making known the scope to be developed, the procedures to be followed, the existing restrictions, and defining the team that is going to participate and its functions. Consequently, the agenda and participants will be adjusted according to each case.
Delivery and approval of deliverables
All projects aim to generate a series of deliverables, final or intermediate, which are usually delivered formally. As the name suggests, the purpose of this meeting in project management is to formalize this delivery and get its approval; allowing you to move on to the next stage, close the project, or proceed to invoicing if applicable.
In the case of partial deliverables, it is also an opportunity to confirm that the project is moving in the right direction, and to uncover potential requirements and risks that were not initially identified. It is therefore advisable that this meeting includes personnel from the technical team, capable of explaining and understanding the details of the deliverable.
As this is a formal meeting, usually linked to approvals of work performed and invoicing milestones, it is advisable to issue a formal approval document, or at least make this very clear in minutes signed by the attendees. The tendency to reopen issues or rethink things is very common; having this formal approval will help you prevent this or treat it as a change.
Handover meetings in project management
These are meetings that occur when work moves from one team to the next, usually because of a change of stage (commercial, engineering, purchasing, manufacturing, etc.).
Therefore, these meetings are designed to transfer information between teams, with the first one being out of the project and the second one in charge of continuing with the work.
Follow-Up meetings in project management
This type of meeting is the most common in project management, and as the name suggests, its purpose is to share information on the status of the project. This can occur both internally and externally; therefore, there are two types of follow-up meetings:
- Internal follow-up meeting. This is the meeting led by the project manager that brings together the members of the project team to learn about the status of the project.
- Follow-up meeting with client or management. These are informative meetings, to report on the status of the project. They are usually accompanied by a follow-up report or a summary of the main aspects of the project.
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