Project Management Skills Training – Project Progress Meetings

by ltconsulting on September 18, 2012

Managing projects is not easy, but it is a crucial task in the workplace. Our Project Management training course will present delegates with useful strategies that will assist them with:

  • organising projects
  • improving project management skills
  • managing projects effectively
  • project planning
  • becoming a great project manager

With ever-increasing workloads and deadlines, the ability to manage our time has never been more important. Project management is a crucial factor in work and our project management courses are created to ensure that delegates can make their work based projects as efficient and effective as possible. We do this by supplying a project management training course that is full of tools and tips for improving project planning, time planning, delegation, organisation and management strategies, managing meetings, as well as handling and using time effectively. Our Project Management Course will cover subjects such as goal setting, improving organisation skills and managing time successfully. Our seminars are packed with useful tips and techniques that allow you to become a better project manager instantly.

PROJECT PROGRESS MEETINGS

Progress meetings are normally event focused. The purpose is to take a broad view of planned and actual progress over the event’s activities and allow the staff responsible for those activities to interact and work together. This involves:

  • The planning and anticipation of problem areas at the beginning of the event
  • Troubleshooting during the event to reduce conflicts and resolve problems
  • Analysis of achievements and deficiencies at the conclusion of the event

You may also need to plan how current problems can be avoided during future activities of events. Such meetings draw on leadership effectiveness through your co-ordination skills and management efficiency through your control methods.

Exercise

The next exercise will allow you to take an overview of a project and see how you may have handled things differently.

MEETING SCENARIO

Read the following scenario and answer the questions at the end.

Steve Jackson works as a software engineer for Twigg Systems who develop computer-based systems for retail, warehousing and certain manufacturing companies. Their success has been based on the innovative solutions they have provided for their clients, together with an enviable back-up service through their own help-desk service, and also the close liaison they have built up over a number of years with hardware manufacturers and installers.

Steve has worked on a number of projects during the time he has worked for Twigg, but has only just taken on the responsibility of project management for the first time. The current project is for Tooms Chemists, an existing client in the retail pharmacy trade, who want a system to speed up and improve stock control in their five regional warehouses; further improve the accuracy of order picking and order assembly, especially for expensive and potentially dangerous ethical drugs; and give an even better service to their 230 retail shops in England and Wales.

Steve’s team for this project is Mandy Ward, Alan Tilling and Jane King. They are each members of other working teams who have come together for this project. All the software engineers are in their mid- to late-twenties, with varying amounts of experience with the company, but all with tremendous enthusiasm and energy.

As often happens, the time-scale on this project was very tight and action was needed as soon as the go-ahead was given. Steve started the ball rolling and started the work as soon as he could.

He briefed Mandy over lunch on the second day, and managed to catch Alan and Jane a couple of days later at the coffee machine. He did say that he would have liked to see them all at the same time but just didn’t have enough time it was unfortunate that both Mandy and Jane asked questions on the same subject, so he just had to go over some things twice. He was pretty sure that each of the team would have a clear idea of the objectives, so he didn’t feel he needed to go over them. As time was tight, Steve decided on behalf of the rest of the team how  they should go about the tasks of the project, and that he would just tell them as the project progressed.

Steve sees himself as a team member and software engineer first and as a team leader and project leader second, so he ‘got his head down’ and is working hard on the project. The other team members are also working hard, so he doesn’t have the time to check or monitor what they are doing. In any case, he doesn’t feel that it is really necessary as they are all responsible adults and experienced at their jobs.

Steve did arrange a project-team meeting when the project had been running for a couple of weeks or so. It emerged that both Steve and Jane had been to visit the London and Home Counties warehouse of Tooms on different days to gather information on the failings of the current system. “That explains why the regional manager of Tooms was a bit strange and why the warehouse manager kept saying that we already have this information,” said Jane.

As the meeting progressed and each member reported on the progress they had made, both Mandy and Alan realised that they had been duplicating each other’s work to some extent. They also realised that the relationship between them had not been as good as normal because each had felt that the other person had been ‘treading on their toes’, but hadn’t wanted to mention it because they had not wanted to upset the other or damage working relationships.

It was encouraging that in other parts of the project each team member had made substantial progress and it looked as though the project was at least on time, if not even slightly ahead of schedule. Each had used their own initiative and had produced results, but without the chance to check on the feasibility of ideas or to talk them through, or to see if others had experience of particular techniques from previous systems or projects.

Later in the meeting Alan suggested that they should all monitor the work and keep in touch more effectively, probably by having regular team meetings, with minutes and action points, as had frequently happened on other projects. Steve thought about this for a while then decided that they were not really necessary because they were already making such good progress. The other three looked at each other for a moment. Alan shrugged his shoulders and they all just accepted the decision. As the meeting closed Steve said, “We’re making good progress on this one. Keep it up folks and we’ll all get a feather in our caps.”

From the scenario, answer the following questions.

1. What did Steve do well in starting and running this project?

 

 

2. What did he not do so well in starting and running this project?

 

 

3. How differently should the meeting have been conducted?

 

 

4. For the next meeting, determine:

  • the meeting objectives
  • items to include on the agenda
  • who needs to attend
  • what information is necessary

Project Management Skills Training

The course is designed to help delegates organise their workload while planning a project. This is done with the aid of Gantt charts and project management templates, tools and techniques. This course is also a great option if you seek project management for junior staff in the workplace as it will informatively aid staff in planning successful projects.

There are many benefits of being a project manager such as; better task management; increased self esteem; the ability to negotiate more effectively and reduce the stress which results from a lack of effective planning.

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