One of the biggest needs in managing a project is getting status. As a PM, you are blind and at risk without it. The typical approach for getting the information you need is to hold Project Status Meetings, but if they are not run well,  very little gets accomplished and they can be a huge time waster for everyone.

The best meetings don’t just ‘happen’, they are planned for. Here are some ideas to get better input and participation at your next status meeting:

• Establish a regular schedule for your call or meeting so all participants will reserve that time slot
• Use an Action Register or other tool to track the discussion or action items that will be reviewed
• Update your tracking tool and issue to participants as soon after the call or meeting as possible so everyone knows what is expected of them in terms of status updates,  action items and due dates
• Ask for updates/input  to be submitted to you in advance of the meeting  so you can review and do additional follow up if required
• Use a Parking Lot to acknowledge any other items not on the agenda,  for discussion at a later date or as time allows
• If an important decision needs to be made, be sure to research options and get buy-in from the decision makers during the week preceding the meeting so you are able to effectively present the item for discussion, ensuring agreement and approval goes smoothly.

If you value your time and the time of others, sticking to a fixed timeline and format for status calls will not only make your meetings more effective and productive, it will also improve your reputation as a Project Manager that can get things done.

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