Don’t Ask When

For any project to be successful, everyone on the team needs to know when things are happening. Unfortunately, this means frequent status update or scheduling meetings. These meetings are often just a series questions about when some part of the project will take place.

When the team has access to an accurate, up to date project schedule, these meetings can take on a more strategic tone and your projects will be more efficient as a result.

Change the Conversation – Ask Why

When the team already knows when things are happening, the conversation can focus on why things are happening. Are there supply chain issues that are driving the project timing? Are resources constrained that are creating delays? Is the schedule realistic? These are all discussions that may not surface if the focus is on when things are happening.

Find Solutions

Schedules change. Personnel, equipment, and even weather can disrupt the schedule for a project. Your team meeting time should focus on finding solutions to these delays, not just reporting them. Getting the project back on track should be a team effort. You can often find solutions in unexpected places. Are there resources from another group that can relieve a bottleneck? Can the schedule be revised to accommodate the delays without effecting the delivery date? Are the dependencies in the project appropriate? You will never know unless your team gets the chance to have these discussions.

Recognize Opportunities

Finding opportunities in your schedule to reduce costs or accelerate delivery is the goal of all project teams. When your team is already up to date on the schedule, they can focus on the bigger picture and find opportunities to outperform. Can some tasks be taken off the critical path? Are there parallel paths that can bring resource efficiencies? Can duplicate set-up charges be avoided by shifting tasks on your schedule? Finding these opportunities can bring your team performance to another level.

The first step in shifting to more status meetings is having a comprehensive project schedule that is accurate and up to date. All team members should have access to the project schedule and be responsible for keeping their tasks current. When your schedule becomes a reliable source of information, your team will trust what is scheduled and your schedule meetings will take on an entirely different tone.