Meetings, meetings, meetings...
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In my last post I wrote about improving project work thanks to collecting data concerning delays. Finding the root cause of those delays is one thing, and neutralising them - a different story. What to do to get rid of them? Make a decision. And what do to make a decision? In most cases, organise a meeting with co-workers, supervisors and talk, analyse.
Ok, as simple as that. So you go to the meeting, you talk, analyse, suggest solutions. Having discussed one topic, you move on to some other issues and rush to another meeting, with different co-workers or clients. And later you go back to this enormous number of things that were only multiplicating while you were absent, I mean while attending meetings. What is the effect? You complain that you waste time mostly during meetings, in addition, during ones where of 15 attending persons:
- two are chatting
- two are playing with their mobiles
- the rest is sketching in their notepads or listening passively.
You have to catch up half of the day or even the whole. You have to overcompensate for the lost time, and you would probably like to have some lunch, too. So, what has to be done? No eating?! No meetings?!
No, it’s rather not possible, and, additionally, in case of implementation, this will bring about more problems than solve. So what are you supposed to do? I think, though for the most of people this might be difficult to accept, that in majority of cases we ourselves are to blame, as we don’t do the right things in the right time. Surely you get crossed with the fact that ordinary synchronising meetings seem to last endlessly, to such extent that the availability of conference room becomes a real problem. Just think, if only once a week you discuss everything, make decisions and assign tasks, this really can’t be quick. So what do you do during the remaining six calendar days? You are fighting fires - there are so many problems that you don’t have even time to think.
Madness. So go back to basics. The project happens every single day so it must also be managed every single day. But be careful! - Managed doesn’t mean synchronised. For me, management means wandering around, being ready, reacting. But reacting to what?
- The most important rule: first of all, not to disturb.
If you are going well with your work and you start disturbing yourself, in a moment it won’t be going well anymore.
- The second rule: switch off your internal electronic mail.
Will you survive?
For sure, the beginning will be like the first day of a diet - you’ll be missing something. But you will survive. Many people do, which I see in my everyday work.
Use the communication systems that make fast sharing and finding information easier. We have our own, tested solutions that we implement at our customers. They allow us to have chats only about strictly defined topics, not about all that comes to our mind. E-mails often start living their own life, they become so multi -layered, and you are seeing more and more people being added in CC. We’ll talk about it some other time (in one of the following posts).
The rule is that: If you work in a project, which means that you do tasks, you must have the possibility to devote maximum time for work, not for doing some other activities. And surely not for preparing the reports for the Manager or the Sponsor. You are working, working, working, and if there happens something that drags you away from work or slows it down - you inform, spending max 5 minutes a day on it.
Erase and rewind, bad word -> Task status update. It is filled in always when there happen problems that PM should be aware of. I wrote about it here http://artstrategygroup.com/pl/2017/06/28/jak-sprawdzic-gdzie-jest-rzeczywista-przyczyna-problemow-powody-opoznien-w-projektach/
Such information is immediately accessible for PM. All the notifications are set in a way that doesn’t allow missing this alert. There happens the reaction: talk, correspondence, content exchange via sms, etc.. How? There are good and better tools, but let’s leave it now. Even a weak tool is ok, if the lack of reaction is an alternative. In this way you start managing every day not ... once a week. Apart from everyday management there are weekly synchronising meetings (not longer than 20 minutes, but this is possible only when everyday management works ok), and monthly overviews about which I’ll write later (not just because I’m lazy, but because you would get tired of the length of this post). Am I wrong?)
In my last post I gave you some dates when we can create something together. They're not up to date anymore. We might be able to squeeze something in September but it depends on our talks with clients. Let’s stay in touch!
Till next time!