Running Effective Project Review Meeting (Part 2)
By Celine Chua (Prince 2, PMP)
Aug 2, 2019
Running effective project review meeting will foster a heathy sharing of knowledge, ideas,
opportunities and risks..
Boring! Status update! Waste of time! These are words related to project review meeting,
especially with most of the mega programme/projects review meetings. Imagine that there are
30 – 40 people from multiple teams gather in a room/conference call for hours, to review
the status of multiple projects at a level of details. Not many people will pay attention to
the person who is talking and scrolling slides that are populated with details.
Meetings are an essential part of project life cycle. Running effective project review meeting will
foster a healthy sharing of knowledge, ideas, opportunities and risks. Therefore, the project manager’s
ability of running effective project review meeting is a critical part of his/her success in project
So what can a project manager do instead of status meeting? Two things project managers need to work on:
- First, find an alternate, effective plan to track status, and
- Second, what to cover in the project review meeting if not reviewing status
Find an alternate, effective plan to track status
Consider setup the following:
- Define the status report template and guideline.
- Get the project team to agree on the key performance indicators/control points to include
in the status report.
- Define a process and framework for project team to report ahead of time (such as one day
before the meeting, latest 10am.)
- Focus on impact. When the team update status, they must describe how their work impacts others
in the project, and what actually makes a difference. For example: “I had completed my task X
yesterday so that Sally can prepare to demo it to the key users tomorrow as scheduled. Then Robert
can follow up with these users within this week, to confirm if the final product is fulfilling their
business / operation needs.”
- Build the process so that everyone in the review meeting had read the status report, and able
to flag issues, risks or opportunities in the meeting.
What to cover in project review meeting?
Here are some examples of running effective project review meeting:
- Get the team to share what they know is critical to the project, and how will it
impacts the others in the project.
- Review the control point’s measurement, and discuss how the team will know if they
are achieving it. This gives the team a chance to flag issues, risk and opportunities.
- What is the information that the team wish they had known to address the issues or risk.
Is it skill and knowledge? Resources? How will the team find it? What contingency should
the team plan for? Make the list and plan for what the team will agree to do when the information
is not available.
- What has changed? What has changed in the assumptions, customer business, and operation? What does
that mean for the project? Here, project manager will find that someone in the team know a lot about
what is happening around, and others are happy to just keep their head down to do their own work.
Discuss, and adjust or change if necessary.
- What improvements can the team make? Is the process has impacted the team ability to deliver
The team must learn to let go yesteryear’s good strategies or process that is unproductive
for growth to occur. However, if you believe in running project status meeting, read the article
from Brownlee, Dana. (The secrets to running project status meetings that work!)
Useful links for project status report samples and guideline: