If you’re the type of person that throws the assembly instructions for your new Ikea furniture aside in favor of figuring it out yourself, then you may also be the type to ask…. “Why do we need regular project status meetings?”
Many of us like to dive right into the work at hand without planning or communicating as we go. When it comes to team projects, this behavior can be suicidal or at best inefficient. Project Managers are taught the importance of careful planning to ensure that the business’ current priorities and resulting requirements are defined before each phase of development.
“Plan the work and work the plan.”
This gets translated into a set of instructions or daily tasks to help guide the team in its work (e.g. project plan or sprint). In a perfect world, such instructions can be delivered according to plan and in perfect synchrony with other team members without need of further discussion. But that rarely happens. Lack of communication is one of the primary reasons for project failure.
Weekly project status meetings or regular ‘standups’ are an important part of delivering a quality project or work product. It enables the team to communicate progress, mitigate risks and issues, clarify requirements and expectations, and reinforce priorities. A client recently commented that “without our regular status meetings, communication and follow-through would have been lost. They helped us stay accountable and informed.”
These regular touchpoints should not be long or overly detailed, but they should be designed to communicate progress, barriers, and next steps toward completing the agreed-upon deliverables. It’s about accountability, transparency, teamwork, quality and success.