Every industry has project managers or a similar function. Construction sites, event coordinating companies, health care management and even tech companies have project managers. Their role is universal, and so are the traits of a good project manager.
With organization being at the forefront of a good project manager's skillset, mastering the art of successful meetings comes hand-in-hand with that skill. Although you can always use a general meeting template to guide your meeting, you will get the most of your time if you use a tailored template for the type of meeting you are running. For project management meetings, especially with remote collaboration, this means using a project-specific meeting template.
You may be wondering, how do I know which type of meeting template to use? 🤔
There is a unique project management meeting for each type of project a team can undertake. To successfully conduct a project management meeting, the meeting host should always document the conversion by saving the meeting minutes. This article will help you understand the different project management meetings and how to run them effectively.
Project meetings are used to communicate with participants and stakeholders to discuss issues, develop proposals and approve or decline an offer. The groups are responsible for the development of group decisions which aid in the faster delivery of the work plan as well as for determining the desired outcomes.
This post will cover two main types of project management meetings: reoccurring project management meetings as well as standard project management meetings. Reoccurring project management meetings are held regularly throughout a period of time, whereas standard meetings are specific to the team’s context.
Let's get started:
Reoccurring project management meetings repeatedly happen throughout a project. For example, while developing a new feature, the engineering team will generally meet regularly to check-in. In these meeting threads, a best practice is to use a template for recurring meeting notes.
In a weekly project check-in meeting, the team can sync with their colleagues working on a project and review the project's status. Check-in meetings are essential to ensure everyone is on track and aligned on the project.
Project check-in meetings are held in all departments. The attendees should include everyone working on the project. For example, when an engineering team is developing a new feature and has a project check-in meeting, all the engineers working on the project, the engineering manager, the product managers and the designers should be included in the meeting.
Weekly project check-in meetings should include a discussion on the updates from each team member or team lead and a summary of the action items and next steps leaving the meeting. During the updates, questions like the following should be answered:
Tip: review this list of check-in meeting questions to guide your check-in meeting.
A project kick-off meeting is the first meeting to launch a new project. It occurs after the initial planning stages before the meeting is officially launched. Since these meetings are held at the start of a new project, they are generally signaling that the execution phase is beginning.
Project kick-off meetings can be held within many different departments. For example, a marketing team can have a kickoff meeting when launching a new project, such as a new blog series or a newsletter, just like the product team can start developing a new product line by scheduling a new meeting.
During the kickoff meeting, all the attendees should leave the meeting having alignment on the project plan, the goals, the timeline and deliverables, the budget and reserved resources. The scope of the meeting depends on the size of the project. Larger projects with multiple phases can have a new kick-off meeting at every stage. Smaller projects generally only have one kick-off meeting.
When scheduling your project kickoff meeting, invite the following relevant guests: project manager, team leads and managers, project contributors, clients and other appropriate stakeholders. Almost everyone involved in a project generally attends the kickoff meeting. This is important as it establishes the baseline of communication, but it is also an opportunity to engage the team.
Want a top-level overview of the different project management stages? Read ClickUp’s guide on project management stages.
A post-mortem meeting is held at the end of a project to reflect on the completion of the project. During these meetings, the people who worked on the project gather to provide feedback and reflections on what was successful and where it could have been improved.
Investing 30 minutes to one hour at the end of a project in documenting the key learnings, best practices and mistakes made during the project is an essential long-term investment in your team’s productivity. By documenting in a meeting minutes app which decisions made during the course of the project were beneficial and which weren’t, the team eliminates the risk of repeating the same mistakes over time.
Before coordinating this meeting, it can be useful to send a feedback poll to gather everyone’s thoughts. Within this poll, questions can include:
Attendees in these meetings should include all the contributors to the project.
Try this post-mortem meeting template by Simon Heaton, Director of Growth at Buffer and previous Growth Lead at Shopify.
Certain projects require daily check-ins to align the team on the direction. These meetings are generally required for projects where significant progress is made every day or towards the due date of the project. For example, in event planning, the week before the event, it can be beneficial to check in on the final details of the event coordination in the days before the event.
The meeting attendees should include all the project coordinators and the managers. A best practice for your check-in meetings is to do a temperature check with everyone before starting the meeting. This involves asking how everyone is feeling before starting the meeting. Afterwards, there should be a brief update on the status of each project, a round table on everyone’s priorities, a discussion on blockers, and finally, a summary of the action items.
Tip: track your action items from the meeting in your project management tool to build accountability across the team.
An all-hands meeting, or town hall, is an opportunity for the entire organization to gather, align and drive transparency to keep your team engaged. In these meetings, all employees, leaders, and appropriate stakeholders will discuss company-wide matters.
A successful all-hands meeting will seek to accomplish the following four goals:
In episode 110 of the Supermanagers podcast, Matt Martin, the CEO of Clockwise, explained that their weekly 1 hour long all-hands meeting includes a discussion on company updates, department presentations and an opportunity to leave the meeting on a positive note by sharing funny moments from the week.
It is important to note that the size of your company can inform if the meeting is at a departmental or regional level. Some topics can be too granular for an entire company, so creating a space to go deeper into specific topics can be beneficial.
A board of directors is a group of people that meet on a recurring basis to supervise the activities of an organization. These groups exist in non-profit organizations, as well as in private and public business organizations or government agencies. During a board meeting, the group formally meets to discuss reoccurring and significant issues, such as policy issues, legal business or KPI reporting, or miscellaneous issues.
Board meetings can be held at various intervals, whether they are quarterly or yearly. The chair will preside over the meeting, and the meeting notes are recorded as meeting minutes. These serve as legal documents to communicate between the organization, the board, and various external stakeholders.
Standard project management meetings are the classic set of meetings that most project managers are aware of, or have used. These types of meetings use frameworks and methodologies that are fundamental to project management.
Agile project management or agile meetings is a methodology characterized by building products using short cycles of work that allow for rapid production and constant revision. An agile project kick-off meeting is, therefore, the first meeting to launch a project using an agile framework.
The agenda should convey the high-level project overview and overarching strategy, project schedule, vision and scope, and team roles and responsibilities. It should also include an explanation of the agile framework and what supporting ceremonies and meetings will be held. To close the meeting, there should be a list of action items.
Try ClickUp’s agile project management meeting template
Scrum is a framework to help teams work together; it encourages teams to learn through experiences, self-organize while working on a problem, and reflect on their wins and losses to improve continuously. It emphasizes teamwork, accountability and iterative progress toward a well-defined goal.
In a daily scrum meeting, the team members working on a project should meet to discuss:
To wrap up the meeting, a best practice is to list all the action items and assign them to different team members. This fosters accountability across the team.
When a team of developers starts a new project, cross-functional collaboration is often required across different teams. For example, developing a new product feature also requires the design team and the product team to share input and complete tasks. Quality analyst project kick-off launches the quality analyst portion of a new project.
A quality assurance specialist, or quality analyst, monitors an organization's quality standard. This will be done by inspecting and proposing measures to correct or improve the product.
Specific teams have multiple QA specialists, others only have one that reports to the product leaders. Consequently, a quality analyst project kick-off should include all the QA specialists on the team or the QA and their manager.
During the kick-off meeting, the talking points should include a list and explanation of the current projects, followed by how they will be divided between team members and the communication management plan. To end the meeting, it is recommended to include 10-15 minutes of questions and answers to surface and address concerns.
Try this quality analyst project kick-off meeting template for an effective first meeting.
Developer and design teams often do lots of cross-functional work, which means handoff meetings are not uncommon. A handoff meeting consists of two teams meeting to pass a partly completed project to another team to fully end it. In the case of design and engineering, the design team will design a new function for a product, whereas the engineers will build the function: eventually, each team’s work needs to be handed off to the other team.
Attendees in these meetings should include all designers and engineers working on or overseeing the project. There are a few critical aspects to discuss in these meetings, starting with an overview of the project’s purpose and goal. The design team will discuss the different elements or flows covered in the design as well as the functional requirements of the design. Finally, reviewing any technical questions about the design, flow or code and discussing aspects that might be out of scope for this project considering the deadline are two important topics to address within the meeting.
Try this design and engineering handoff meeting template to give each team clarity on expectations and next steps.
At the end of a process or project, software development teams will generally meet to discuss the success and failures to improve things in the future. The primary goal of a retrospective meeting is to provide an opportunity to be critical of the process and performance of the team to improve for the future. Team members should be able to voice their thoughts in an open environment without reprisal. Moreover, documenting critical moments from the past cycle, quarter or project in a retrospective meeting is helpful to inform performance management reviews later in the quarter.
Sometimes, there can be tension or frustration during the discussion on what did not go well, but a good meeting facilitator will turn the frustrations into a constructive conversation. Gathering anonymous feedback from the team is a best practice before retrospective meetings.
Some questions to discuss during a retrospective meeting include the following:
There are many different types of project management meetings; learning to navigate them as a new manager or project manager can be overwhelming. Regardless, the key to effective meetings is keeping the meeting lean and only inviting the relevant attendees. Not only do inefficient meetings have an expensive cost, but they are also draining and not energizing for the team. Managers also need to strive to always use a meeting agenda that is tailored to the type of meeting they are running.
Try ClickUp for free today and say hello to organized project management meetings.
About the Author:
Fellow.app is a top-rated meeting management software. The tool helps managers and their teams build effective meeting habits through collaborative agendas, action item tracking, and a library of expert-approved meeting templates. Thousands of organizations worldwide have implemented Fellow to create a culture of productive and engaging meetings.