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Month: June 2022 Page 1 of 4

As a T-Shaped project manger, you can make an impact

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
This is Charlie Davidson’s guest post.

The basics of a T-Shaped Individual
What does it mean for a Project Manager to be a T-shaped manager?
Why is it important to have T-Shaped Project Managers?
Which T-Shaped Project Managers are the most effective?
How can you improve your T-Shaped project management skills?
Wrapping up

Charlie DavidsonHave a you ever heard of a T shaped developer?
This is a common phrase in software development. It refers to a developer who has extensive experience in their role, but is also highly skilled in a specific area.
The horizontal bar of the letter “T” indicates their wider skill set. The vertical bar indicates more specialized and extraordinary skills.
This image may be helpful if you have difficulty understanding the visual reference.
A T-shaped Developer’s ability to work in multiple areas of a Development Team while still focusing on one area is highly valued.
But what if we apply the same principle for Project Management?
The basics of a T-Shaped Individual
It’s important to understand the differences between T-shaped people and others. How can we classify people who don’t look like T-shaped people? What are the differences between I-shaped and T-shaped people?
1. Individuals who are I-Shaped have deep knowledge of one subject.
2. Generalists, which I believe we’ll struggle find a letter that matches them, can do many tasks but specialize in none.
T-shaped people allow us to accomplish more with the same amount of people. Or you can do the same amount of work with less people.
Why? Experts excel at parachuting in and removing bottlenecks. They can quickly fix the problem the first time.
Not every task needs an expert. Generalists can take over tasks and make experts available to handle bottlenecks.
Experts and non-experts will find more T-shaped people. T-shaped people can adapt and move faster than those without them.
What does it mean for a Project Manager to be a T-shaped manager?
There are many ways to think about T-shaped Project Managers.
The first is to evaluate all Project Manager skills within the Project Management framework.
This scenario could include items like Kanban, Scrum and Sigma Six or PMBOK standards. The core focus would be on one management framework or concept.
Jeff Sutherland is a great example. Jeff Sutherland, who co-founded Scrum, has been a specialist in the subject for more than 30 years and has written numerous books about the topic. However, he still has some working knowledge of other Project Management skills.
This approach is not something I like. We as Project Managers need to have a comprehensive toolkit of processes and systems in order to find the right ones for each project.
Another approach is to view Project Management as a deep skill. A T-shaped Project Manager is specialized in managing complex projects.
What is the broad skill set? Well, it depends.
Project managers typically work in one industry. Each sector requires a different set of skills.
Let me give you an example of my industry: the digital sector. Here, we create complex websites and portals. Our teams are experts in User Experience, Creative Design and Technical, Systems, as well as Commercial skills.
Digital Project Managers who are able to relate to each skill are the ones who thrive in this industry.
They are in fact T-shaped Project Managers.
A T-shaped Project Manager has a working knowledge about the skills of their team. They are not as skilled as their colleagues, but they have a good understanding of best practices and concepts.
Why is it important to have T-Shaped Project Managers?
Project Managers that are T-shaped have many advantages.
A Project Manager can draw insights from their team to have a better grasp of a project’s progress than I-shaped specialists. This is great for working with stakeholders

LiquidPlanner: new version available!

On Tuesday, I saw a demo version of LiquidPlanner (the project management scheduling and collaboration tool). It’s now available – it’s still in Beta testing so it’s still free!
Bruce Henry guided me, a long-time user of MS Project through the main features. Although I have tried ConceptDraw Project 3 & Niku, LiquidPlanner is the best I’ve used.
As companies outsource the simple stuff, they are leaving the more complex, non-repetitive tasks at home. This is driving our economy to become more project-driven. This is great news for project professionals but it also means that we are doing more work than ever before. Add some new technology to the mix and it becomes almost impossible for anyone to accurately estimate a project.
LiquidPlanner is able to work with uncertainty rather than forcing you into committing to task durations. It uses ranged estimates instead of single point estimates to create task durations. It also features a patent-pending scheduling engine, which applies probability to each task in the schedule. This allows you to make more accurate guesstimates about when things are going to end.
It is not enough to update progress using the standard percent complete approach. Each time you update progress, you need to re-estimate how long it will take. This will allow you to make better predictions about when things will be finished. However, you must also keep an eye on what your colleagues are doing. If they keep repeating “two more days, just another two days”, but never getting any closer to completion, then it is time to recognize the warning sign. You can also do that with percent complete. I remember working with someone who claimed everything was 80% complete regardless of how much he had done.
The fuzzy durations on the LiquidPlanner Gantt charts are my favorite feature. The task bars fade at their ends to indicate that tasks have ended, but not fix a milestone. Bruce also showed me that dependencies don’t need to be included when working with resources. LiquidPlanner knows that Bob cannot do six tasks in one day and schedules them one after another. It’s time-based planning, not effort-based planning. But that’s okay. After all, that’s how most people do it and how most stakeholders want it. Drag and drop the task until Bob is working on it.

It is not clear if your project sponsor will be able to understand fuzzy durations and how to calculate time using probability engines. It will be helpful if your project sponsor consistently removes the contingency that you have so carefully planned and added in. If you feel that you have to add a contingency task, it is possible.
LiquidPlanner has MS Sharepoint-style collaboration. It also acts as a document repository. This is because projects are social activities and getting people to collaborate is a challenge that pays off when done well. Social networking tools have not been incorporated into project management tools. Although I have written about project blogs before I was unsuccessful in finding a wiki that I could use for my current projects. LiquidPlanner takes some of the Web 2.0 concepts, and applies them to the traditional project management world. This is a good thing. It will be difficult to place this document repository or collaboration tool alongside another one if your company uses it. Although you can link to documents stored on other web-based systems, who would want to switch between them? It’s better to do the whole thing.

Let’s pretend: Project management software adoption with user persons

Steve Ballard, who is currently the director of user experience at Workfront project management software company, says that “the role of director of customer experience is quite new.” It’s not new in consumer software. The product must sell itself, so the focus should be on products that are useful.
Software you use at work has a sales force that can sell, support, and explain it. Ballard explained that the shift to focusing on user experience in workplace software is because users expect the exact same thing from office tools as they do from home.
He says, “People expect software to be useful.”
Useful software
Workfront is committed to producing useful software. Workfront members went out to live with customers in their offices this year to learn how the software was used. The results of this research were the inspiration for the new version of their project management tool.
Before they arrived at the offices, the Workfront men interviewed each other to discover who their users were. They then visited 20 companies in the U.S. to confirm or deny their theories.
Ballard says, “We talked with people with different roles.” “We spoke to team members, project managers, and executives, so we talked to about 60 people. We tried to live with people a bit – it’s a kind of anthropology.
Visitors sat at the desks of project management software users to learn how they use it. To ensure consistency, Ballard was present for all visits.
The team visited large and small companies as well as a variety of industries, including manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.
Ballard states, “We thought that we would face unique challenges in different industries. But we weren’t.” “They all struggle with similar things.” We now know that we can make Chris happy and all end users happy if we can do that.
Designing for fake people
“Chris” is a fictional character, the archetypal user of project management software. Ballard explains that designing for one person is much easier than designing for a diverse group.
He says, “We created user persons – fictional people.” The Workfront team created profiles for three fictional users: Chris, a member of the project team and software end user, Jen as a manager, and Mark as a project executive. Ballard says that no one focused on the team member for obvious motives. “The main user of software is not the software buyer on a daily basis. Chris is crucial to the success and growth of Workfront software within any organization.
Workfront site visits revealed that project managers force their users to (shock, horror!) enter data into a project management software tool. Their users must input data into project management software tools.
Stream, the latest version of Workfront software, tries not to do that. “Stream’s approach is to understand Chris’s goals and give him something that will help him be responsible for his work and have control over it. This solves the adoption issue, which is a problem for all software,” Ballard says.
He says that project managers face a major problem when they have to deal with ‘garbage out, garbage in’. When they have concerns about the quality of the data, project managers find it difficult to trust the software’s outputs. Stream addresses this issue by empowering the end user by allowing them to set their own dates.
Ballard says, “If we can achieve Chris’s goals we can get data into our system for project managers.”
Actionable usability
Ballard says that “some customers got it”, although he admits that it was more difficult to sit down with customers than non-customers. Workfront’s usability task force visited companies that don’t use their software to make sure they weren’t just “designing.”

Project Management Lessons

My experience shows that most project managers believe they could learn more from lessons learned. While we all know that recording lessons learned is essential to ensuring that future projects go smoothly, most project managers don’t feel they do this well.
It’s not surprising that managing lessons learned on a project is difficult.

What are the Lessons Learned
The Lessons Learned Process
How to capture lessons learned1. Post-project reviews
2. Team meetings
3. Lunch and Learn sessions
4. One-to-one meetings
5. Wikis/Software

Templates from Lessons Learned
Project Lessons Learned Examples
Use Lessons Learned from New ProjectsImprove your skills as you go
And make improvements for the future

What are the Lessons Learned
Because you learn from the past, lessons learned can help you manage projects more effectively. The idea behind lessons learned is that you won’t repeat the same mistakes.
The Lessons Learned Process
Lessons learned are easier than you might think.
Discuss what worked and what didn’t.
Please share this information with your team.
Take action.

This last part is crucial, and I’ll get to it in a moment.
How to Capture Lessons Learned
How can you share the lessons learned? There are many ways to share what you have learned about your project with the PMO, project managers, and teams.
Here are five ways you can try.
1. Post-project reviews
Does your project have a scheduled post-project evaluation? Get one now, if not, on yourprojectplan! Talk to your PMO to discuss a standard format for post-project reviews. You’ll find it easier to collect, share, and search the results if everyone does it in a similar manner.
The post-project review provides a formal opportunity for review of what went well and what didn’t. The meeting will provide an opportunity for open and honest discussion about the project. Participants can then take this knowledge with them to their next projects.
You can also share your output with other project team members.
2. Team meetings
To share lessons learned, you don’t need to wait for your post-project review. Make it a regular item on your project team’s agenda.
Ask people to share their week’s learnings. It is important to write it down. Keep track of all responses.
Although there might not be anything worth discussing every week, the act of asking creates an atmosphere where it is expected that lessons will be shared.
This culture promotes organizational learning. It will encourage team members and other managers to openly discuss what went wrong and what can be done better next.
3. Lunch and Learn sessions
These two suggestions are only useful for members of the project team. A lunch and learn session is an open meeting where anyone can attend to discuss a topic.
The ‘lunch” part refers to the fact that most meetings are held at lunchtime. People can bring their own food or have lunch provided. Lunch and learn sessions were either catered sandwiches or pizzas.
This is a great way to reach a wider audience by sharing your lessons learned. You can invite members of other project teams and the wider PMO community along to hear about your project.
4. One-to-one meetings
Take the time to ask your team members, line managers, and other project stakeholders for their lessons learned during one-on-one meetings. You might find that they are more willing to share their feedback with others and that you can pick up some very useful tips.
This is especially true when things don’t go as planned. People are more likely to be happy to share project successes in a group setting, but may be a little more reserved about discussing the negative aspects.

Leadership Toolbox for Project Managers [Book review]

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Michel Dion, in his book Leadership Toolbox for Managers, writes that the current project management theory was first developed in the 20th Century, when organizations were based upon the operational model with a few projects. He continues:
This model was appropriate for the 20th century, when the social, technological, and cultural environments were still relatively stable. This model is too simplistic. It assumes that you can spend two years analysing something, three years implementing it, and then close the project by transferring the assets to the operations, which will continue doing the same thing for twenty more years. Today, the context is very different. The world will likely have changed by the time that you’re done analysing and even more by the time that you’re done implementing.
There are enough books that teach us how to use processes. We need guidance on how to use them in the real world. This includes the annoying admin assistant and hidden agendas. This is the world I try and manage projects in. It’s not a perfect situation where everyone follows the best practices (although Michel’s book does conform to the PMBOK(r).
This book is intended to be a practical guide to the skills that you need to lead projects in an imperfect environment. It is similar to Jake Holloway and co’s A Practical guide to Dealing With Difficult Participants. (Read my interviews here, here and here with the authors.
Michel also said:
It is dangerous to assume that all issues are related to tools and techniques. This is an oversimplification of the problem. This view says that you can achieve success if all processes are implemented correctly and fully.
Because success is guaranteed when you follow a process… surely no one with any leadership experience or project management would still think that people are irrelevant in all of this.
These are the 5 leadership qualities that you need
Chapter 4 is the only chapter that contains any substantive information about leadership. The first sections are all about setting the scene and laying the groundwork. Michel says these are the qualities of a leader.
Continuous improvement.

As you may know, I’m happy with the results so far, but continuous improvement is a nice addition to this list.
As a leader, look after yourself
The best thing about this book was the fact that it included the parts about being human at the beginning. It discusses wellness as a theme for leaders, and not as an afterthought at the end.
Michel laments the busyness of our jobs, but he says we must take care of ourselves. He also suggests getting enough sleep.
Michel believes leaders should be judged on their results, not hours worked. I agree with him. He says that your success in the job is ultimately determined by your actions, decisions, and results.
Today, project management is even more important
Michel says that project management is used to manage more tasks within an organization and more important things. This makes it even more important than the connection with strategy and leadership.
New research on leadership
Chapter 11 contains Michel’s survey results about leadership. It asked for narrative responses so I cannot summarize it for you with statistics.
It also includes a list of the most common challenges, which are:
Stakeholder management
Effective meetings
Ability to take timely and effective decisions
Interaction with senior management
Time management
Management of contracts
Understanding politics in an organization.

I expect you to recognize some, if certainly all of these challenges.
It’s not a toolbox.
The title

A world where all projects are successful requires a culture shift: Adrian Dooley at Conference Zero

Adrian Dooley, director at APMG, was formerly a construction project manager, before he began helping others do their projects better. He was also one of the Conference: Zero presenters. He was reflecting on APM’s vision for a world where all projects are successful and his main point was that culture change is necessary to achieve this.
The same mistakes again
For several years, 730 people worked at the Pantheon in Rome. The pillars were built elsewhere and brought to Rome. Adrian stated that the pillars were 10 feet shorter than needed when they arrived. The Romans quickly reworked the portico to make it more functional. This example was used to show that projects can go wrong for a long time. He also shared a list with the IPMA conference in 1972 of reasons why projects fail.
Adrian Dooley’s list for reasons projects fail, illustrated by the Pantheon of Rome. “These are obvious things we need to fix,” he stated. These are obvious things that we need to fix. I don’t believe much has changed since Pantheon times. It’s human nature.”
He shared extracts from post-implementation evaluations from a major UK utility company to show simple issues that aren’t being addressed. These were some of the lessons learned:
Communication is lacking to the business. Clear communication plans should be created to ensure that business stakeholders receive regular updates.
User requirements are not documented or tracked. More user involvement could have prevented the need for late changes.
Reluctance of operational staff to cooperate in project team: stakeholders need to be recognized earlier to ensure business buy-in.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s not rocket science.
It’s why diets don’t work.
Adrian stated that even though people working on projects have taken courses and completed qualifications, they still make the same mistakes and nothing changes. There are many fad diets promising weight loss with grapefruits, nuts, fish, chocolate cake, or other sweets. The reality is that you must eat less and exercise more if you want your weight to drop. Although it sounds easy, it is not because our bodies are pre-programmed for a certain amount of calories. It can also be socially and genetically difficult to refuse food we don’t need.
Adrian explained that there are many social reasons to change how we do projects. We also have our own set of latest crazes like Agile, the introduction of planning software in mid-80’s, a rush for qualifications in mid-90’s and Agile.
Adrian stated, “These are the quick and ineffective diets for project management.” They won’t work alone, but he didn’t mean that they wouldn’t work. Successful projects will not be achieved by certifying all project managers with PRINCE2(r). Nor will introducing Agile. It is not easy to bring everything together to make a lifestyle change.
Don’t be discouraged by project failures
Adrian stated, “It’s futile to pontificate about the reasons why projects fail.” We need to focus on what makes them successful. Adrian spoke a lot about project failure, and this was only at the very end. Buckminster Fuller’s quote was shared by Adrian: “You can’t change the existing reality.” You can change something by creating a new model that renders the existing model obsolete.
Adrian suggested that we need a new model that involves major cultural change. He stated that this meant changing the public’s perception of project management, moving away from The Apprentice, where everyone is a manager and no one does it well, as well as moving to Chartered Status. “We are meant to be the kind people who can achieve this type of cultural change and change.

A strategy for engaging and dealing with difficult people

This is a guest contribution from Patrick Mayfield, non-executive Director of pearcemayfield.
It will always be a challenge to deal with people we find difficult in our business. This is a significant problem in today’s business world.
In 21st-century business practice, factors such as increased globalization and multiculturalism are commonplace. As virtual working has become more flexible, we have seen the end of traditional working methods.
We must embrace the change that is likely to have been brought on by acquisitions or reorganizations.
These changes can have a huge impact on the smooth running and efficiency of your organization.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to deal with someone who is difficult. Engage with them.
The best way to avoid the worst is to have a plan in place before you face the problem. This will allow you to be more prepared and help you get the best outcome.
No matter how awkward someone may be, you owe them the right to listen to their point-of-view at the beginning of any conflict. This will ensure that you understand their point of view and can then reflect back to them.
You can show empathy by reiterating their position to them as accurately as you can.
This will be far more effective than giving them a “yes, but” response.
Start Here: Listening
No matter how awkward someone may be, you owe them the right to listen to their point-of-view at the beginning of any conflict and to ensure that you understand and can communicate your understanding to them. You can show empathy by reciting their position to them as accurately as you can. This will be far more effective than giving them a yes, but’ answer.
Make your position clear
It is important to clearly state your position and to also clarify that you are not being taken advantage of with threats or unreasonable behavior.
Be polite and calm. Thank the person for explaining their point and helping you to understand their perspective. If possible, try to resolve any issues together and avoid using the word “but” in your responses.
Find the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Contract
Before you attempt to resolve conflicts of interest, it is important to determine what the non-negotiable parts of your own position are. This will ensure that you are understood by the other person and will also help you to determine your fallback position if you cannot reach an agreement.
In a project situation, for example, you might be able to defer to a senior person who can rescenaze the project or, in extreme cases, to stop the project entirely. You will eventually need an alternative solution, even though you may never use it.
What’s in it for me?
We all make decisions based upon what is in our best interests. This is often the main motivator behind our actions. It is therefore important to find out the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) of the person. ).
There are bound to be ‘wins’ if you look at the potential benefits for each party in a particular situation. Sometimes, by discussing the details of the situation with a difficult stakeholder, both parties can maximize the benefits and minimize perceived disadvantages.

A Christmas shopping guide for project management Christmas

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
It’s never too early for Christmas shopping planning. It can be difficult for project managers and team members to decide what to buy.
This is why I’ve compiled this handy list of gift ideas that can be used by almost anyone, at a variety of price points to suit your budget. They are great for gift-giving, or you can treat yourself to them. ).
Food and Drink
Holiday treats are a favorite treat of many. These Custom Message Shortbread Cookies can be used for any occasion. But maybe you have a client or project team you wish to thank this holiday season. This could be a great way to add a personal touch!
Custom Message Shortbread CookiesEUR32.85Congratulate a teammate for a promotion or your team with a job well done. These vanilla shortbread cookies can be customized with any message you choose.
Buy NowWe earn a commission when you click this link and make an order. Add some milk to a cup. Stir. This will be a great gift!
Hot Cocoa Kit $30.00 This giftable set includes two delicious flavors of hot cocoa: white chocolate and classic cocoa, as well as a peppermint topping. Simply drop one or two of these clever cubes into a cup of hot milk and voila! Instant hot cocoa!
Buy NowWe earn a commission when you click this link and make an order. This gift box makes a great gift for a manager, or to say thank you for a job well done. Each month features a different type of gin, along with garnishes, mixers, and paired treats.
Craft Gin Club Gift BoxesWhat’s inside the box?
Full-size bottle
For the Perfect G&T, garnish with tonics
Ingredients for Cocktail of the Month
Sweet and savoury treats
56-Page glossy club magazine
Plus, you get free delivery throughout the UK

Buy NowWe earn a commission when you click this link and make an order. It comes with everything you need to make three bottles infused gin. You can also add your own vodka.
Gin Making Kit$60.00 Add your vodka (wheat-based is the best) to one or more of the bottles. Next, infuse the bottle with a vial of Juniper berries for between 24 and 48 hours. Next, make an infusion mix of up to nine botanicals like licorice, orange peel, green cardamom and orange peel. You can either use the included recipe guide, or create your own mix. You’ll have a deliciously flavored spirit. Let it sit for 12 hours. This is enough to make three bottles worth of gin.
Buy NowWe earn a commission when you click this link and purchase #ad Drinkware
My morning coffee cup needs a jumper. It’s what the best-dressed coffee cups wear. I used to have a coffee cozy, but it’s gone. I would like to have a ball of yarn so that I can make another one, but they are available on Etsy.
This Meditation Mug with finger tracing is a great way to bring a little Zen into your day. Each one is handmade in Wisconsin. It can hold 16 ounces of tea or coffee for those times when you need a little boost in energy.
Meditation Mug$35.00Trace you finger along the path that winds around this handmade cup’s stoneware top. This labyrinth-shaped meditation mug is $35.00. It can be used as a spiritual pick me up at any time of the day.
Buy NowWe earn a commission when you click this link and make an order.

A Practical Guide to Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
A Practical Guide to Dealing With Difficults Stakeholders offers a more realistic approach to stakeholder management. Books often assume that stakeholders feel warm about a project. Even if they don’t, a good communication plan can help you win them over.
This is not real life.
What is a stakeholder?
The authors (because there are three: Holloway Bryde, Joby and Joby) define a stakeholder by:
Any person or group that can influence the cost, schedule and specification of a project.
This is a very broad definition, but it’s hard to imagine how it could be narrower. Projects are not complete without stakeholders.
They also include the measure of perceived success’ in their definition, which I believe is important.
Because the business environment at project end is different from the one at project start, the perception of success is more important than the achievement of the project goals. As you move through a project, the success criteria for a project change.
This is how they put it: “Successful engagement is about ensuring the perception of your projects is what you hoped for, in addition to achieving any objective, measurable outcomes.”
Prioritizing stakeholders
I like their ideas about prioritizing stakeholders. Project managers are often told to place all stakeholders on a two-by-2 grid and then plot them out. Next, tailor your engagement activities accordingly.
Real life shows that the most important stakeholders consume far more time than those who might have been flagged by stakeholder analysis as requiring high involvement. Prioritize them. You want to be able to spend your time with the stakeholders that really matter.
Real life stakeholder management
The best thing about this book was that it is very practical and easy to read, despite looking formal and being part the Advances in Project Management series by Routledge (previously Gower). The authors share many stories. I felt sorry for them because they had to spend so much time working with very difficult stakeholders.
An experienced project manager will also enjoy moments of pure comedy. This made me laugh:
Many stakeholders don’t care as much about the project because they have many other priorities.
This is also about project sponsors:
They want to change their minds, especially about scope and requirements – but without having those changes remarked upon or affecting the project or being written down. Many sponsors suffer from “Great Man Syndrome”. They believe that every conversation with them, even informal, is somehow included in the project scope. They often respond to the realization that it isn’t as they thought.
Because it’s never happened to me (*wink*).
Although I felt like I had already read some of the advice on working with project sponsors, it wasn’t too long ago that I read a whole book on sponsorship (Strategies to Project Sponsorship).
Engaging unusual stakeholders
There is a chapter about the team as stakeholders. It briefly mentions the role that the project manager plays as a stakeholder in the projects (which I agree with).
The authors note that demotivation can be fatal to a project and that the team is definitely involved in that. They wrote:
“Projects can be complicated, messy, and political.

A Guide to Project Meetings and How to Get the Most Out of Them

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Meetings. They are a big part of project management. Because project teams must collaborate, we meet for many reasons.
This guide to project meetings will teach you:
These are the 5 types of meetings (including one I hope that you never have)
How to get the most out of each type
How to organize better meetings
These links will take you to other resources that offer brilliant tips and tricks for effective meetings.

Working together to accomplish things often means spending time together (physically or virtual) discussing tasks, making plans, and taking action.
It is in everyone’s best interest to make all types of project meetings as productive as possible.
Jean Tabaka explains 5 types of project meetings in Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills For Software Project Leaders
Status meetings
Planning meetings
Working sessions
Retrospection meeting (post-implementation review)
The meeting that should never have taken place.
It’s important to understand how to get the most out of meetings, regardless of how unpleasant they may be.
Tip for PMI exam-takers: You can be tested on your knowledge of meeting management techniques. Before you can take your exam, you will need to be confident you are familiar with best practices in meeting management. Status meetings
Status meetings allow you to reflect on the current situation and make a report.
Agile teams have the daily update meeting. You don’t even need to be part of an agile team to have a daily standup.
How to get the most out of a status meeting
Do not repeat in a meeting what you could have written on an email.
If you provide written status updates, people will do the pre-reading.
If they don’t/won’t, devote the first 10 minutes to reading updates.

2. Planning meetings
Facilitating a planning meeting requires some effort. These sessions require more preparation than a regular status meeting.
This is evident in the kickoff meeting. It is a chance to set the tone and clarify expectations.
How to get the most out of a planning session:
Set a clear agenda
To plan with others, divide people into groups
You can either hire an external facilitator or you can facilitate your own facilitation.
By not having the HIPP present in the room, you can avoid defaulting to HIPPO (highest-paid person’s opinion).

If you have difficulty getting everyone to the same room, consider using strategies that can be used to make meetings more efficient.
3. Working sessions
This type of meeting allows you to meet with one or more people in order to accomplish a task. This is an example of peer programming.
You could be co-creating documents, creating prototypes, or drafting speeches. A working session could be used for anything that requires multiple brains to work on it.
This category also includes meetings whose main purpose is to teach someone how to do something.
How to get the most out of a working session
You should ensure that the ‘workers are matched to the task at hand. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing someone update a spreadsheet slowly when they have better Excel skills than you.
One exception is when the session is for coaching/peer assistance and someone is available to learn. This is obviously different.
Set clear goals and time limits for the meeting
If people claim that there is not enough time for a meeting they should call it something else.

4. Retrospective meeting
These are what Tabaka refers to as “retrospection meetings” and they could be referred to as post-implementation reviews, or look back meetings.
It’s a chance to reflect on what worked and what didn’t, and what you will do differently next year. Everyone is welcome to share their opinions and thoughts.
This may sound a little too agile for your team. Then take a look at the benefits of an agile approach to meetings. It will make you more productive.
How to get the most out of a retrospective meeting

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