Everyday Status Meeting – An Absolute Project Killer

I have seen a few project managers who hold a project status meeting every day with each team member for about 1-2 hours. Just for one good reason; to track where the project is going.

Have they ever wondered about what is really going on in such status meetings?

  • Each team member communicates what he or she has been working on;
  • When one team member is communicating, all others are just hearing (not listening!) with probably no or little idea about what the other team member is talking about;
  • The last team member is waiting for his turn eagerly, “This is just crap. They are just screwing up my valuable time wasted until they get to me!”

Few questions to them:

  • Why do they need such meetings?
  • Don’t they have Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in place?
  • No communications management plan?
  • Why the team was not involved in the planning process?
  • Are there many orphan tasks?
  • Is the scope statement incomplete?
  • Do they really know what Project Management is?

If the project is well managed using acceptable industry standards such as the one offered by PMI, such meetings may not be necessary at all.

Here are some symptoms for them to know where their status meetings are heading:

  • No agenda or rules of the game in place;
  • Team members often come late;
  • Side conversations during the meeting;
  • Feeling of droopiness among most of the team members;
  • Team members look forward to getting out of the meeting.

If they find any of such symptoms, here is just one question to really think about:

What they can do to avoid this situation?

They can overcome that if they have good planning processes in place. They need to remember that 20% of planning saves 80% of the time in execution. It is just about the choice they have made and still they have time to make a better choice.