4 Tips For Meetings

1) Have an Agenda

Prepare an agenda and share it with everyone before the meeting is due to take place. Allow others to comment on the topics of discussion. Having an agenda keeps the meeting on track and keeps everybody on the same page when jumping from topic to topic. You should prepare your agenda in advance so you are better prepared for the meeting and follow the agenda in order to keep the team on track.

2) Make Documents Available Online

Meetings are prone to generating documents, handouts, graphs, budget analysis, etc. A few ways to make sure each team member has access to the documents is to upload them to your website, send them out via email or utilize cloud tools online for ease of access. Keeping your group up to date on current news, issues, etc. is an important part to communication within your group.

3) Meet Outside Meetings

Take advantage of other leaders in your group to assist you and be willing to accept suggestions. It is effective to meet with other leaders in your group to assist you with planning and implementing your project. This sub-committee could be helpful when directing and facilitating information and procedure to the rest of the group. It also let’s other leader’s in your team be appreciated and involved.

4) Start Quick, Finish on Time

It is important that you start and finish your meeting on time. This show’s respect for other people’s time and it will also make sure that you get the most discussion time possible from your allocated slot. Be mindful of which topics are top priority and those that aren’t in case you become pressed for time. Your job is to make sure the meeting runs smoothly and effectively while continuing to be productive. You must be flexible, too. Sometimes meetings follow the agenda but don’t go as planned, it is okay, just keep the enthusiasm and finish on time.

If there is a disruptive element that starts to delay the progress of the meeting, simply request that the issue be discussed privately after the meeting. Be sure to handle interruptions and difficult behavior quickly and professionally so it does not negatively impact your group’s objective.

Successful Project Management

The two most important components are the Scope Definition and the Work Breakdown Structure, or WBS, for controlling and managing a successful project. These two components will be used throughout your entire project to ensure that all your work gets completed. They will act as control mechanisms throughout the project to ensure the success of the project.

Every project starts with a Scope Statement. The Scope Definition then elaborates this Scope Statement on. The Scope Definition divides the Scope Statement into major deliverables. These major deliverables are then broken down into the WBS. The WBS is a complete checklist of all the work that must be done so the project can be completed successfully. High-level categories of work are broken down into activities or tasks. Activities or tasks are then further broken down so you can assign a reasonable level of work effort to each activity or task. Many project management professionals use the 80-hour rule.

You can then apply resources, dates, and cost and assign an estimate to your activities or tasks once you have created the WBS. Some of the more common estimating techniques are Analogous (Top Down), Delphi (Bottom Up), and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (P.E.R.T.). Project management models utilize these estimating techniques to improve the accuracy of initial work effort estimates to shrink the variance gap between baselines and actual schedule and cost.

A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) has various names, but all with the same purpose: to clarify and link resources to the Scope Definition and WBS. It is important to determine the level of involvement and responsibility of that work by each resource as roles and responsibilities are assigned to various work assignments on the project. For example, both the Project Sponsor and the Project Manager are responsible for the projects success, but at different levels. These levels may be defined by who actually does the work, who has input, who is informed, and who approves or signs off on that work.

In plain English; Each individual must sign off and take responsibility for their part in the project. Each project sector must start when scheduled, finish on time and stay within budget.

The other PERT

No, it’s not the shampoo…PERT stands for Program Evaluation & Review Techniques. This is the main scheduling technique that I use the most, simply because it is a more optimistic type of scheduling & planning tool and it uses time estimates to give an expected time of completion. This process can help you figure out how much time is needed to complete a project. PERT has the ability to monitor and evaluate the changes within the schedule by determining whether or not the project will be completed within the scheduled time frame by developing alternative plans. This style of cost and schedule control allows a huge amount of sophisticated data to be presented in a manner that contractors, engineers and customers can view and understand it, while making joint decisions. Some of the positive aspects of utilizing PERT is it cuts project cost and time, coordinates the schedule while it expedites planning and eliminates the idle time. This process provides better scheduling and control of subcontractors and their activities. On the flip side, the negative aspects of using PERT are that it is time and labor intensive and it lacks ownership in the estimates when used in large scale projects. It also lacks historical data gathering for time & cost estimates while assuming it can use unlimited resources.

Scope Definition and Work Breakdown Structure

The two most important components are the Scope Definition and the Work Breakdown Structure, or WBS, for controlling and managing a successful project. These two components will be used throughout your entire project to ensure that all your work gets completed. They will act as control mechanisms throughout the project to ensure the success of the project.

Every project starts with a Scope Statement. The Scope Statement is then elaborated on by the Scope Definition. The Scope Definition divides the Scope Statement into major deliverables. These major deliverables are then broken down into the WBS. The WBS is a complete checklist of all the work that must be done so the project can be completed successfully. High-level categories of work are broken down into activities or tasks. Activities or tasks are then further broken down so you can assign a reasonable level of work effort to each activity or task. Many project management professionals use the 80-hour rule.

You can then apply resources, dates, and cost and assign an estimate to your activities or tasks once you have created the WBS. Some of the more common estimating techniques are Analogous (Top Down), Delphi (Bottom Up), and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (P.E.R.T.). Project management models utilize these estimating techniques to improve the accuracy of initial work effort estimates to shrink the variance gap between baselines and actual schedule and cost.

To ensure that you assign a reasonable estimate to your activities or tasks, you must make sure that they result in a deliverable and show action. For example, if part of the scope is to create End User training documentation then having a WBS item stating “End User Training Documentation” does not supply the action involved in that activity. A better alternative is to break down the WBS in a manner that ensures a more accurate estimate and understanding of the activity or task. A better alternative would be “Identify End User Training Requirements,” “Create initial draft of training manual,” and so forth. You need not worry about sequencing the activities or tasks at this time. The immediate concern is to ensure that all the activities and tasks are included. Sequencing will be done in a future level when you create the Activity Network Diagram.

Change Management within an established culture

To incorporate an effective strategy we will need to put in place the following:
• Rules & Procedures
• Planning Process
• Hierarchical referral
• Direct Contact

By implementing the four items above, you will eliminate conflicts between management and functional departments. This encompasses the general systems theory that implies the creation of a management technique that is able to cut across many organizational disciplines including but not limited to finance, manufacturing, engineering and marketing.