Project Management

How to get an entire team update on your project in minutes

Reading Time:
2mins 14 secs
Ben Willmott

What's the one problem with project status meetings? They often go on for too long, as you usually have one or two team members who like the sound of their voice a little too much.

Project status meetings used to be a face-to-face affair, which was good for team bonding in some cases, but also increased the likelihood of them going on for too long.

With remote working, or at least teams now being more likely to be in different offices and locations, it's harder to create that team atmosphere on a Teams/Zoom call as you are staring at a screen and only one person can talk at a time.

So project status meetings should focus on being efficient and valuable, so the team can have more time to focus on the work rather than sitting in a meeting or a Teams call for an hour.

To do this, you need to move your status meetings so they're entirely remote and managed by whatever messaging tool your team uses, so Teams, Slack etc...

In your project teams channel, on the day, typically a Monday, you need to get a project status, and at the same time each week, you post one question and tag the entire project team.

The question could simply be;

"What do you plan to do this week?"

Pre-agreed with the team that this question always comes on the same day at the same time, they're ready to respond with their updates.

The update doesn't have to be long, just clear enough that everyone knows each team member's plans.

Then as a Project Manager, in a few minutes, you've got a mini-project plan for the week. If you need more detail, you know you can go directly to that individual and ask a question or do it in reply to the team member's post, so everyone is aware.

Another benefit is one of the team members may read a colleague's update and notice they're missing something they should be doing, or they may need that individual's help during the week and respond accordingly.

All of this takes a few minutes, saves a ton of time for everyone involved and as a Project Manager, you have a clear and concise team plan for the week.

The question you ask can change over time, but as long as the team are clear on what they need to respond with, you may not need to change it.

To make it even easier, the question can be automated in some apps like Slack, so as a Project Manager, you don't have to write anything, just go in and check the response.

It's so easy and fast, and the team will appreciate having one fewer Teams or Zoom call on a Monday!

Ben Willmott
Ben is Delivery Director at the London based creative agency Wunderman Thompson where he creates bespoke ways or working for his clients and teams. Ben is also the founder of The PPM Academy specializing in coaching Project Management, Agile Delivery and how to be more productive at home and work.

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