My boss gave me feedback that there is not enough dialogue between participants in the weekly project meeting that I run. He says that hearing the leads of other functions discuss issues is a manager's important tool -- this is where I can add value by understanding group interactions and dependencies.

I run my meeting according to the MT effective meeting protocols. The agenda includes, my updates (waterfall), occasional special topic, and status updates from all my functional leads. My meeting never goes over 30 minutes, while a similar meeting for another project regularly takes 1.5 hours.

What am I missing? I think my meeting is going relatively well, but I need to address my boss's concern. After all, I report to who I report to.

One thing I will do is have a "How is this meeting going?" topic on the agenda for next time. I need to hear from the participants how they think I can improve the meeting.



tlhausmann's picture
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Hmmm. 30 minutes for a weekly project meeting may not be enough time depending upon the complexity of the project and the number of participants.

For if the meeting has little or no discussion among participants (i.e. simply status updates) then it is like reading through a collection of email messages.  Take a look at your last three or four meetings and select a topic/problem requiring cross-functional support to resolve--put it on the agenda for your next meeting. I bet you will have a discussion and discover something new about your operation.

dresouza's picture
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Hausmann is correct that 30 min may be too short and people may feel pressed not to discuss.  Try an hour. 

If the previous culture of the project did not favor discussion, you may need to specifically encourage it.  Questions and discussion in a staff meeting are measurable and can be improved by gentle feedback.  It also helps to seed the meeting.  Highlighting cross functional tasks is a good place to start.  Pick items for the special topics that really require discussion (long-term planning, safety improvements, new markets).  Have different people on the team lead the discussion. 

Best wishes for success.