Stop Conducting Project Progress Meetings
By Richard Morreale
I want you to stop conducting Project Progress Meetings, Project Highlight Meetings, and Project Status Meetings and stop producing Project Progress Reports, Project Status Reports and Project Highlight Reports. Instead, start conducting Project Achievement Meetings and start producing Project Achievement Reports. When I’m running a Project, I want people to continually remember that we are on this project to achieve.
I remember being called in to provide consultancy support on a major financial systems project that was in a little bit of trouble. The project manager was in the process of putting together a Project Status Report for the Board. I suggested that he rename it Project Achievement Report. He told me that would be fine but that they really hadn’t achieved anything since the last report. My comment to him was, “Well, shouldn’t that tell you something?” It does and it is not something that, as a project manager or as the project managers boss, you want to hear. He made the change in title. He told the project team that we were going to make the change and in the future we were going to be focused on achievement and not on update or status. Things got better.
I know that certain words have a different psychological effect than other words. For instance, I feel very much different when I say the word achievement versus the word progress or update. Achievement seems much more positive. Achievement is high energy. It’s successful completion. It’s ‘we’ve done it’. At any rate, it provides an all round view of why the project team is there.
Try it. See if it makes a different on your project. Let me know what happens. The least it will do will give the project Manager a chance to explain why she is using the word and will lay the foundation for another project pep talk.
Richard is a project manager, professional speaker, author and consultant specializing in Project Management, Leadership, Achievement and Customer Service.