By: Emily Fackrell

  • Published:
  • Under: Project Management
War room goings on

Meetings—a necessary evil. Collaborating  with teammates is essential to ensuring project success, but too many meetings can leave little time for actually doing. Here at CHIEF, we’re always striving to strike the right balance between meeting time and heads-down work time. Want to know our tips for making meetings as productive as possible? Keep reading:   

1. Consider the goal of the meeting before scheduling, then decide on the best medium. Is the team giving status updates? Those can often be done virtually in chat or over email.  Are you deciding something important or are you solving a problem? Gather the team together in person.  

2. Use agendas. Even if it’s just a rough outline that isn’t shared, having a plan for meetings will keep them on-track.

3. Schedule ad-hoc sessions for brainstorms and important discussions. Have an agenda (see #2), but save most of the meeting time for collaboration. Get the team together for whiteboarding sessions as the project takes shape. These can, and should be, informal sessions to encourage free flowing ideas.

4. Use status meetings, whether virtual or in-person, as an opportunity to coordinate further collaboration. A quick status meeting is a great time to ask if anyone needs other team members’ input. If so, get the necessary team members together offline and have them share outcomes with the entire team afterward.

5. On that note, consider invitees carefully. Every team member doesn’t need to attend every meeting. Only invite those whose expertise is needed in the conversation. Send notes to the broader team so they understand, and don’t feel excluded.

6. Plan a recurring time, but don’t be afraid to cancel. A regular team meeting is great to keep on the books, especially for team members with busy schedules who are otherwise hard to find. But don’t hesitate to cancel if there’s nothing to talk about.

7. Leverage technology. Keep remote team members in the loop with video chats, and consider recording important meetings for reference down the road.

8. Record action items and follow up with an email. Almost every in-person meeting will have action items. Be sure to write them down, send them to the team and follow up on email when items are past due. Keep action item work in email as much as possible so your next meeting isn’t dominated by rehashing old to-do lists.

CHIEF agency meeting

How do you manage meetings in your workplace? Share them with us on social media.