International Project Management Day




Team Meetings Descriptions Sample


Quick Summary
Meetings, meetings, meetings ... you've got to have at least some to keep the team communicating, but which ones, why, and with whom in attendance? Check out one team's approach in their meeting-phobic environment; describing their critical "types" meetings in a way that portrays their practicality and value(!).


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What this is

An example of the types of meetings one cross-functional product development team decided it needed during its project, and how they chose to document the purpose of each type of meeting to convey its practicality and value.


Why it's useful

Meetings are often an under-appreciated if not downright reviled part of project life. Done poorly, they can seem like a waste of time and energy and actually be counterproductive to the team's effectiveness together. Done well, though, they can enable thorough, timely, rich collaboration on the project. The key is to be clear about why any given type of meeting is needed.

The company that created these descriptions was new to project management and product development processes. The introduction of "process" was a jolt, and any meeting was not assumed to have value "just because." The project manager was a well-respected technical person; his clear articulation of why the various meetings were important went a long way toward gaining acceptance. His practical style matched the company's "just get it done" culture-no fancy words about why project management or meetings in particular are a good thing in general, just some plain-spoken words about what and why.


How to use it

  • Note the types of meetings this project manager described, and think about what categories of meetings your team needs to have.
  • Create your own meeting description and work to review and get agreement with the purpose of the meetings. For instance, you can publish it to the team as a draft, as for comments, discuss in a meeting, and revise it; or, you can have the team brainstorm it and come up with the meeting needs themselves.
  • Include "extended" team members or influencers, in the review at least. For instance, some functional managers may have strong anti-meeting biases, or object to someone defining a new kind of design review without them. Their lack of buy-in can translate to less-than-full participation by their team members.
  • Publish the reviewed meeting descriptions as a project document, or include it in your broader Project Communications Plan document.
  • When it comes time to schedule project meetings and reviews, the document can be referenced to ensure the right people are being invited to support the purpose of that meeting.

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