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Why project meetings are too important to skip

Clock with meeting written over the top

When you’re under the pump and working 16 to 18 hour days to deliver your project, it’s really easy to consider stopping the project catch up meeting. After all, it will free up at least an hour a week that could be spent on other things. Besides, if there is anything important or urgent, the team can always get in touch. Right?

To me, that thinking is false economy. In my experience, it’s at this point that project meetings become more important than ever.

I have found what works if time is getting limited, is to only meet once a fortnight. One caveat to that is to make sure you have a really tight agenda and stick to it. The last thing you need is a meeting that runs overtime and waffles on. Still having a meeting, albeit less frequently, gives you all the benefits of regularly catching up with your team, but reduces the time commitment.

Here’s my top reasons for continuing with the project meeting:

  1. It’s during this meeting that you’re likely to pick up if things are going off track or if your team needs to be refocused. Better to discover this here than on the day before go live when you realise a critical piece of work has been missed (I have seen it happen!)
  2. It’s a chance for the team to take a bit of a breather and relax
  3. It’s a place for any challenges and grievances to be aired. When time pressures mount it’s really easy for little frustrations and niggles to boil over and become problematic. It’s useful to use the team meeting as a time and space to discuss and diffuse potential volatile situations
  4. You can proactively capture any lessons the team wants to share, saving time and effort at the project close out

In conclusion, even if you struggle to make the time, it is worth ensuring the project catch up meeting stays on the schedule in one form or another. It’s too important an activity to lose.

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