Can You Have Too Many PM Meetings?

Project management meetings can be a helpful tool to keep all team members on the same page, however, holding too many meetings can actually lead to a decrease in productivity as well as resentment for having to attend meetings when people could be working.

The first question that should be asked when considering a meeting is whether it is really necessary. Meetings held that do little more than get everyone together for a gab session are unnecessary and wasteful, taking away from the work that needs to be completed. On the other hand, when group action is needed to exchange information, deal with conflict, or develop ideas a meeting can be useful. The duty of the project manager is to determine whether the meeting is essential to the project or not.

Some project managers hold status meetings which can be inefficient and eat up loads of time and money. Instead, consider meeting one-on-one with individuals or small teams to get updates on progress. Email can also be an effective tool for measuring the progress of different sectors of the project.

One way to determine whether meetings are becoming detrimental to the project is to estimate the cost per minute of meeting time. Determine how much each member attending the meeting is being paid per hour and break that down into minutes. Multiply that by the number of meeting minutes and decide whether the cost/benefit ratio is worth it. Also keep in mind that negative morale caused by sitting in unnecessary project management meetings can offset any minor accomplishments that might have been made in the meeting.

3 thoughts on “Can You Have Too Many PM Meetings?

  1. For the leading question I would start with the answer “yes, we do have too many PM meetings” and start looking for ways to limit them. In vast majority of cases we’d able to limit the time spent on meetings.

    Usually our schedules are cluttered with recurring meetings and the rest of free time is filled with ad-hoc gatherings to deal with some issue. Withe the former the trick is to find right frequency of meetings. With the latter each case should be considered individually to decide whether you need a meeting at all.

  2. Perhaps there can be a similar formular calculating the need for the project meetings in the first place. More often than not, it becomes a routine the majority of people don’t take an active part in, thus adding nothing to the development of the project.

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