Standardize Meeting Formats and Attendees
Hallway conversations like the one above are just one distant early warning for project managers. Requests for changes during informal meetings, especially when project sponsors aren’t present, can lead to problems during the implementation and evaluation phases of the project cycle. Project managers can ensure that teams stay focused by following standard meeting protocols.
In many organizations, a meeting isn’t considered “official" until the following criteria are met:
• Attendees are notified in advance, even if it’s just a few minutes in the future.
• Each meeting must have a formal and specific agenda.
• Notes must be taken at each meeting and distributed to all team members.
Formalizing meetings this way accomplishes two of a project manager’s major goals. First, it forces meeting-prone team members to manage time more effectively by pushing more meeting topics into e-mail or memo format. Second, it puts an entire team on notice that all project business is documented, even informal meetings.