Meetings are a fact of life in project management, but are you getting everything you can out of them? We’ve broken down some common meeting types with do’s and don’ts to help your team maximize its time.

Kick off
Get everyone on board with a new project, outline primary achievables, reveal and discuss the timeframe,and explain stakeholder expectations. May also assign major areas of responsibilities and designate key point people within the team.
DO: Have graphics ready, such as timetables, floor plans, and budget overview. This allows folks to quickly take in large amounts of important information. Follow up by sending electronic copies to the team so everyone is using the same data.
DON’T: Get bogged down in details. Instead, put together an action list of items to be addressed offline.

Progress report
Team members provide status updates for their respective areas. Issues that are likely to affect more than one functional sub-team are discussed and potential concerns are identified.
DO: Have a firm agenda, even if it doesn’t change from one meeting to the next. It’s crucial that each group have sufficient time to report on the happenings in their area.
DON’T: Short-change this meeting’s allotted time. Reports should be presented efficiently, but dedicate enough time to ensure each group is able to provide the info that others on the team need.

Problem solving
Potential glitches that were identified in other meetings are tackled here. Discussions are action oriented and focused on specific results.
DO: Minimize the number of issues the team takes on in each meeting. It’s much more productive to hold a series of highly focused meetings than one multi-topic gathering that wanders around and accomplishes little.
DON’T: Invite team members that aren’t directly related to either identifying concerns and their underlying causes or implementing solutions.

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