1. Project Meetings
Project meetings cause more problems than any other aspect of project management. We often
confuse the different kinds of project meetings.
We generally divide project meetings into three different categories:
The Kick-Off Meeting gets us started; it introduces the project team, confirms the overall
purpose and objectives of the project, determines the roles and responsibilities of the team
members, and establishes ground rules for working together. The most important purpose
is to get commitment to the scope and objectives of the project.
The Planning Meeting identifies tasks and activities, estimates resource requirements,
assigns responsibility, schedules tasks, and manages risk. This meeting also plans for
performance of individuals and the team and resolves conflict as it occurs. The purpose is
to encourage project team involvement and participation, to take advantage of team
knowledge and experience, and to gain a deeper understanding of project tasks, timing,
and resource requirements.
The Project ReviewMeeting monitors the progress of the project, modifies the project,
modifies individual or team performance, and evaluates and closes-out the project.
The kick-off meeting launches the project. It builds initial excitement; it introduces the people
who are on the team and explains why they were chosen; it identifies the customer or user and
verifies his or her requirements; it clarifies major roles and responsibilities; and it establishes the
ground rules for the project.
Since anything that starts well has a better chance of ending well, the kick-off meeting must be
Plan the Meeting
Consider the following questions when establishing the meeting agenda:
What issues will be discussed?
Who should attend?
When should the meeting be held?
Where should the meeting be held?
What equipment and materials are required at the meeting?
Distribute the meeting agenda to each participant in advance.
Conduct the Meeting
Always start the kick-off meeting on time. It will set an example for subsequent project meetings.
State the purpose of the meeting.
Provide background information. Who is the customer? What is the problem we will fix?
What is the opportunity for doing something better, faster, or cheaper? What alternatives
have been considered? Who has initiated the project and given approval to proceed? Who
will support the project if it gets in trouble?
2. Introduce the participants, indicating why each member of the team was chosen (technical
skills, project management skills, people skills) and their roles on the project.
Establish the project ground rules under which the team will operate.
Present the broad project objectives (end results or deliverables, resources, restraints or
limitations, assumptions), adding missing objectives where offered, clarifying objectives
when appropriate, and prioritizing objectives when necessary.
Build commitment and enthusiasm by soliciting input wherever possible: you want this to
be their project, not just your project.
Document the Meeting
Record the project mission statement and objectives in the minutes. These may change in
the first planning meeting.
List the project team members, their roles and overall responsibilities, their daytime
telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses. Make copies for everyone.
Confirm all decisions and follow-up actions (What, Who and When).
Confirm the planning meeting date and agenda.
We choose project team members for their knowledge, skills, and experience. We can also build
their commitment to the project by involving them in planning meetings.
Confirm project objectives
List project tasks (work breakdown structure)
Assign responsibility (who provides input, who does the work, who reviews or approves
Schedule the tasks
Review the plan
Negotiate resource commitments
Determine how to monitor the project
We gather the required information and come to a common understanding about the project by
What questions: for determining the work breakdown structure and resource requirements
Who and when questions: for planning the project, i.e., scheduling and assigning
How questions: for monitoring and evaluating the project
And we listen carefully to the responses.
Project Review Meeting
Imagine a project review meeting. What tends to happen whenever a project issue arises? In most
project review meetings we immediately begin to discuss the issue. What is the chance that this
will be the most important issue to be discussed? What is the chance that everyone in the room
will share a common understanding of the issue? What is the chance that the right people will be
in the room to resolve it? What is the chance that all the right information will have been gathered
to address the issue? And, yet, the desire is to discuss it and try to resolve it.
Effective project-oriented organizations have identified two different types of project review
meetings: the project status meeting and the resolution meeting. The project status meeting
3. identifies project-related problems and opportunities; the resolution meeting identifies the right
people, gathers the right information, and resolves the issues identified in the project status
These two meetings are linked.
Status Meeting Resolution Meeting
Held on a regular basis
Share key project information
Update the issues log
Identify new issues
Identify and anticipate issues
Clarify for common understanding
Plan the resolution (what issue, what
information required, who participates,
This meeting is then over and results in one or
more resolution meetings
Held on as-needed basis
Resolve the issue(s)
Gather the required information
Analyze the information
Decide on the best possible response
Act, if you have the authority, or
recommend action to others for their
This meeting is then over and results in an update
of the outstanding issues log
This two-meeting format greatly simplifies project review meetings. The review meeting becomes
a status meeting. Several resolution meetings can then be scheduled to resolve the issues that
arise. Once resolved, we update the project issues log.
Tips on Planning Status Meetings
If you takes the role of project manager, you must be ready to plan and conduct project meetings
on a regular basis. This will be part of your project management duties. Project meetings help you
make sure that the project is progressing as planned and that any problems are being solved in the
The following project meeting planning tips are designed to help you understand how to organize
the meetings and what essentials are required to make your effort more effective. Here’re the tips:
1. Set Objectives.Thisprojectmeetingtipassumesthatif youdon’tsetclearmeetingobjectives,
the meetingisdoomedtofail because itgivesnoresults,andnosolutionwill be generated.
Before decidingonschedulingameetingdate,make sure youhave set a seriesof SMART
2. Write a MeetingAgenda.Developingandfollowinganagendaallowsyoutomake the status
meetingshorteryetmore effective.Yougetmore chancesto finishthe meetingwithexpected
resultsandina timelymanner.You’llneedtoproduce anagenda2-3 days before the startdate
4. and include alistof eventsthatare scheduledandprioritized.Meetingschedulingsoftwarewill
3. KeepDocuments Organized.That meansyouneedtomake the meetingdocumentsasshorteras
possible.Whenyouuse pilesof papertoholdthe meeting,you’re likelytofail becausemultiple
documentscande-motivate andmisleadyourteamandcause a mess.That’swhy youshouldtry
to keep1 or 2 sheetsof paperto maintainthe meeting.Alsoit’srecommendedtouse areview
meetingtemplate thatincludesgeneralitemsof youragendaanddescribeswhatissuesare tobe
4. Invite the Right People.Membersof yourteamare obviouslythe majorattendeesof yourproject
managementmeeting.However,fromtime totime some meetingsrequire someone fromthe
seniors.Followingthisprojectmeetingplanningtip,youshouldknow inadvance if the
participationof seniormanagementisrequiredandthenmake sure thateverypersonconcerned
isnotifiedof the upcomingmeetingandthe problemstobe addressed.Forconvenience,youcan
use meetingplanningsoftware tomake notesinyourto-dolistandagenda
5. Create an Appropriate and Comfortable Physical Environment.Note thatyour projectmeeting
shouldbe conductedina comfortable andwell-ventilatedroom, especiallyif it’ssummertime.Do
not forgettogive yourparticipantsice coldwater,tea,coffee or/andsome non-alcoholic
beverages thatmake yourlistenersfeelmore comfortable.Followingthismeetingplanningtip,
youshouldaddrecords to yourto-dolistand create a listof all the beveragestobe preparedin
advance priorto the meetingstart.
6. Start and Finishthe MeetingonTime.People donotlike if aneventgoesoutof schedule,and
probablythere isnoanythingmore frustratingthanlate meetings.Thisprojectmeetingtipsays
that youshouldmake sure everyattendee isaware of the startand finishtime.It’srecommended
to send(eitheroral orwritten) notificationstothe attendees.Alsoyoucanuse yourmeeting
planningsoftware tosetemail remindersandsendelectronicnotifications.
Meeting Types and Descriptions
Orientation Meetings (Your Individual Orientation Meeting & Gatherings for New Grantees)
These meetings are the cornerstones of our partnership, scheduled once you sign your
letter of agreement. They are opportunities to meet our staff and artists, to ask us questions
about our contract and system of support and to discuss how to get your project made. We
have these meetings with every awardee because we want you to take advantage of our
support and services. This is our chance to make our system of funding, meetings and
services clear at the outset.
Note: We make every effort to meet with our new awardees in person. When possible, we
will pay travel costs to a regional orientation meeting. Individual orientation meetings can
also be conducted over the phone.
Retreat Project Meetings
During your first retreat, you will have the opportunity to review your Creative Capital
project with consultants who can help you plan, produce, develop and promote your
project. These meetings clarify goals and expectations and help to identify actionable
5. Update Meetings
It’s important to update us regularly on the project. If an opportunity or challenge for the
project (or your practice) arises, we encourage you to arrange a meeting.
Stakeholder Meeting - Initial (optional)
Initial Stakeholder Meetings can be convened if you have partners identified early on in
the development of a project. It may be useful to gather together and discuss strategies
going forward. These meetings are moderated by Creative Capital staff and may be
attended by those involved in the project, including funders, collaborators, work-for-hire
participants, representatives from presenting venue(s), consultants, etc.
Stakeholder Meeting - Premiere
We’ve found that as a project gets closer to presentation and premiere, it’s helpful for
Creative Capital to facilitate a meeting among the various parties involved to jointly
clarify goals and expectations. You designate which presentation or event you want as
your Creative Capital premiere. We recommend scheduling your stakeholder meeting at
least 6 months prior to project's premiere. When you know your preferred premiere event,
please let Artist Services staff know as soon as possible. During this meeting, staff will
discuss additional funding available at this stage of the project. These meetings may occur
in person or by phone. Please note that a Stakeholder Meeting is a prerequisite to apply
for Premiere Funding.
Post-Premiere Meeting (Expansion or Exit)
Just as we try to meet six months before a project premieres, we also try to meet three to
six months after the project’s first presentation. This helps us determine whether or not the
project is complete or if it has a continued life after its premiere.
Project Closure Meeting
Tied to the Final Report, this is our chance to assess the impact of your project and to
recommend Alumni opportunities.