Do you or your employees look forward to meetings, or do you dread them? Are they viewed by your colleagues as being long and drawn out, a waste of time and resources perhaps?
Daily stand-up meetings are fast becoming a common procedure for many teams, particularly in Agile project management.
Stand up meetings, part of the Scrum software development framework, by necessity are much more focused. Topics stay on track and are work-related, relevant and current; they tend to discourage chit chat.
Try developing your stand up meeting style to tailor project meetings to focus on improving workflow and encourage co-workers to see regular meetings as a useful tool for making their project role easier.
Make sure your meetings are designed to achieve the following goals:
- To start the day positively and productively
- To enable improvement or products, services or processes
- To keep projects focused
- To develop team dynamics
- To communicate what is happening
Involve more of your team
If you organise regular meetings you should involve those who have less immediate contact with the client, bring everyone together so that you are all singing from the same song sheet. You may be surprised at what they have to offer in terms of experience advice and problem-solving
Encourage everyone to describe what it is they are working on, and their role, to the rest of the team
What may seem obvious to one team member or department is not always obvious to the rest of the team. This is a chance to encourage people involved with otherwise disparate processes to get together and understand the bigger picture. It also helps co-workers to understand where certain skills may be available for future projects.
Ask team members to write down anything that they think might be useful to the project during the day, and make sure they have an easy channel of communication through which to suggest adding it to the meting agenda.
Organise short Stand Up Meetings
No chairs and tables allowed, no iPads, laptop or mobiles allowed! This techniques is used for Daily Scrum Meetings, which typically last only 5-15 minutes.
Encourage other employees to share their mistakes
It’s important that people feel safe to sharing of information and lessons learned at the meetings that may save other employees from making similar mistakes. Mistakes are costly and time consuming; a quick stand up meeting is a good opportunity for colleagues and co-workers to share vital information.
Organise your stand up meetings first thing in the morning and make attendance mandatory
The great advantage of this is that you will ensure that all of your co-workers arrive on time, and focused on the day ahead as soon as they arrive at the office. Even when meetings are done remotely, it is a good idea to schedule them first thing in the morning.
Encourage co-workers to share new ideas or innovations
Technology means that processes change quickly. Encourage employees to share the information they find relevant or valuable.
Andy Trainer works for Brighton-based training provider Silicon Beach Training. While stand ups meetings are not taught as part of the PRINCE2 project management course, they are becoming a feature of projects run using many methodologies.