Meetings, Cappuccinos and Balancing Acts
Have you uttered either one of these phrases recently? “I never know what’s going on in this company” or “No one ever asks for my input.” If so, count your lucky stars. Okay, maybe that’s an overstatement, but clearly anyone making those statements is not attending many – if any – company meetings.
Recently I made several updates and changes to our Website and Pay-Per-Click development processes to try to improve communication among team members (Go Team!) and meet deadlines.
As a result, I find myself in meeting after meeting; but thankfully, we’ve seen some very positive results from these changes. In fact, clients have been commenting openly about how helpful the meetings with them have been and seem to be encouraged by our discussions and follow-up.
The Art of Multitasking
I also am encouraged at the end of our meetings, but rushed.
After heading straight to the cappuccino machine, I plop down at my desk and quickly scan my emails looking for items of high priority (today’s inbox is at 82), respond to Skype questions, print the agenda for the next meeting, grab my fresh foamed cappuccino, and head to the next meeting.
The only unfortunate effect the increased meetings have had on my position is the increased lag-time on email and client follow-ups (if only I had an assistant *wink*). But all hope is not lost. I have a friend who is a civil engineer for the Army and he consistently complains that he attends endless meetings while only about 20% of them affect his position or his timelines (he plays video games on his cell phone to kill time).
Manage Time & Increase Productivity by Only Inviting Relevant Team Members to Meetings
So, to you Project Managers out there, it is vitally important that none of your team members feel like their input is unimportant or unheard. And yet, as time managers we have to ask ourselves if certain team member’s input or involvement is necessary at certain stages.
At some agencies your opinion in this regard may differ from that of your boss or team leads, but it is critical that project managers facilitate meetings where key information is exchanged among the relevant team members.
As the time management “experts” in a company, Project Managers find that their own schedules pull them in different directions. But, that’s what we signed up for and we can handle it. The project team, however, needs us to use their creative time wisely if we want the best deliverables for our clients.