Project Management Meeting Agendas

Schedules, deadlines and priorities are nothing new to a project management team. The success a team has in completing a project within the allotted time depends in large part on how well the team members deal with these facts of life. A periodic status meeting that adheres to a predetermined agenda brings the project team together and deals with issues or problems that may threaten a project deadline.

Meeting Agenda Basics

  1. Going into a project management meeting without an agenda sets the meeting up for failure even before it starts. An agenda sets the tone of the meeting by identifying its purpose and outlining meeting objectives. Objectives such as a status update from each project team committee or a discussion focusing on an upcoming milestone deadline lets everyone know what to expect and how to best prepare for the meeting.

Agendas Provide Focus

  1. Project status meetings are more likely to start and finish on time and remain focused on the reason they’re being held when an agenda is distributed. While issues or problems that require further discussion may be uncovered during the meeting, an agenda keeps the issue or problem from becoming the unexpected focus of the meeting. If further review or discussion is necessary, the project manager schedules an issue resolution meeting with affected team members. The resolution is then added to the next status meeting agenda to update the team on how the issue was resolved.

Creating a Meeting Agenda

  1. The project manager often takes responsibility for creating agendas that focus on project startup and the final project meeting. Rotating the responsibility for creating status update agendas as the project progresses toward completion is a good way to free up time for a project manager and give team members an opportunity to learn how to create effective agendas. Issue resolution meeting agendas are often the responsibility of the team member who is experiencing the problem.

Agenda Characteristics

  1. Project management meeting agendas differ according to specific meeting objectives. Although there are no formal standards for creating an agenda, most follow a standard meeting format. Every meeting agenda includes basic information such as the date, time and location of the meeting. Status meeting agendas may then go on to include items such as an informal discussion about how the project is progressing, a formal discussion about the progress teams are making toward an upcoming milestone deadline and reminders about any upcoming project events such as a training session or a project deployment date. New issues or action items are often the final items on the agenda.