How to Effectively Manage Project Status Meetings
As a project manager, a key aspect of any project is the project status meeting with the client.
It’s a time to gain the client’s trust and keep their interest in the project with the effective presentation of the (hopefully) healthy project status. These meetings can help clients understand the progress of the project and allay any fears or concerns they may have.
Related Article: The Good Project Meeting
Some tips to help make this meeting as successful as possible:
- Have a Meeting Plan
Always have a plan before the actually meeting with the client. This plan can include:
a. Meeting Agenda
b. Meeting time schedule
c. Actual requirements or discussion points for meeting
- Review the Project Modules
Good project managers meet with their project team before any client meeting. Discuss each task with team members and glance through the progress and status of tasks so no surprises come during the client meeting.
- Prepare a Meeting Agenda
The project manager should make a clear and precise meeting agenda. This can take the form of a number of bullet points as discussion topics. This will help drive the meeting, keeping it on track and on schedule.
- Be on Time
A key point of the meeting is time management. Always start the meeting on time and try to complete the meeting within some the time allocated. Long meetings can bore the client and gradually decrease the interest in the discussion. Better to arrange separate sessions for different type of meetings if you require more time.
- Stay Focused
Good project managers always try to keep the client and the team focused. Stick to the meeting agenda. Try using visual presentations to wrap up complex points or to explain the main points of the project and the reason for the meeting.
Some clients may lose focus. It’s your job as the project manager to keep them on track.
- Note Feedback
Make a note of important suggestions and any feedback received from the client so that after the meeting you can review it with the whole team. If possible, record the meeting with any recording tool you have available. It will be very helpful to listen it if any point missed.
- Be Clear
Try to give very clear and concise answers to the client. Don’t hesitate to say no if necessary. It can show decisiveness. But remember, if you say no to anything initially and then say yes, it can confuse the client about your decision making ability.
- Say Thank You
Finally, at the end of the meeting thank the client for their time and ask them if they have any concerns to share. This will give client assurances that the project and project manager is listening.
Inform the client that you will in touch with them. If they have any query at anytime, they can contact you.
- Create Minutes of Meeting
During the meeting you should be taking notes. Once the meeting is concluded, create the minutes from all those points that you had noted and email the client for their reference. Try to define due date of each action item in the minutes to ensure the client is confident and aware of the next completion of tasks.
- Be Confident and Positive
In any meeting with a client or at any stage in your career, it pays to be confident and trust in yourself. Confidence in yourself helps the client have confidence in you and the project. Always trust in your ability and communicate confidently. Wherever you are in your life, positive trust and confident nature can carry you towards success.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
— Theodore Roosevelt