Drumbeat meetings

Good Manager Tools podcasts:  The Project Management Drumbeat Meeting, Parts 1 and 2.

“Drumbeat meetings” seem to be the new term for status meeting. A couple of real good takeaways from this podcast….

  • Weekly project status meetings. My empirical results concur … while weekly may feel too frequent, project meetings over a longer period are ineffective for the reasons they cite. It is just something about human behavior, at least for American knowledge workers.
  • Mandatory reporting of work status. The reporting of status is actually part of the work itself. This is imperative and not just for projects but for any assigned work in an organization. I have it as #8 of my change guidelines that I recommend every IT employee commit to follow.
  • Staying tough on task deadlines. They advise the PMs be pretty tough on team members that miss deadlines. I like the advice; however, from my own personal experience, this is not always feasible in harried organizations where team members are routine pulled off for emergencies or dysfunctional organizations where the PMs are not truly empowered.
  • Timely decision-making. An imperfect decision made sooner may be better than a near perfect decision made later. I see this one a lot, including in my own behavior. We fail to realize that a decision made later with a higher confidence may have less value than a riskier decision made sooner – because of the change in the dynamic due to delay.