Meetings – The problem or the solution?

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I am currently completing one project and gearing up for the next; it is scheduled to start in a few days. New projects are fun and exciting; new technology, new faces, new problems to solve. Most projects commence with the ceremonial “kick-off meeting”. You know how it goes, get some coffee maybe a bagel, sit down, listen to someone give a high level overview and vision of the project, meet team members…Oh, and let’s not forget about that somewhat awkward tradition where we go around the room and tell everyone our name and role.  Strange and awkward as meetings can be, they are an important communications medium; when they are leveraged effectively, they make a positive impact on many aspects of the project.

Once the kick-off meeting is done. What follows is…more meetings. So have a seat and get comfortable, because you’re going to spend the next half hour just responding to the meeting requests sitting in your inbox.  Accept, Send the response now…Accept, Send the response now… Soon you’ll be asking, “where is the Accept All button?” and then, “Sooo…Are all these really necessary?” This is a valid question, sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes it’s no; much of this depends on the maturity of the delivery process. Meetings are an effective medium for team communication. Projects are not just about cranking out code and testing, it’s just as important to collaborate and plan.  Few would dispute, the criticality of project success weighs heavily on having all the right people working towards the same goal.

Poorly planned meetings often lack clear goals and can waste valuable time and resources. Having a mature delivery process can avoid this. Deliveron’s  Delivery Guidance process prescribes up to 10 types of meetings that occur over the course of a project. Everything from Release Planning to Design to Demonstrations…each meeting type has a specific purpose, audience and frequency. Knowing and understanding these provides project leaders an advantage in laying out a schedule. Of course, there will be other meetings added during the execution of the project that are meant to address unplanned needs; those should be the exception, not the rule.

So accept those meeting requests and buckle up. A fantastic journey awaits, and don’t forget the coffee!

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