Virtual meetings have become common in the last time. The impact was the COVID-19 pandemic that disabled face-to-face meetings in projects. In general, virtual meetings are meetings and should follow the standard process of implementing meetings. The essentials for meetings are a timely invitation, an agenda, the coordination of the dates, and the sending of a link to the used communication platform. Nevertheless, the managing of virtual meetings still does not work optimizes – as the following example demonstrates!
The case study
In one of our projects, we had agreed on a meeting for 10:00. The meeting was agreed during the holidays – that’s always a challenge! An email arrived from the coordinator at 9:29 (of the same day):
are we having a group meeting today (10-12 am?), at least my calender says so…
I can open a Zoom or Hangout Room if needed?
We were used to having poor project management in this project, but this email was a best example of bad practice.
What went wrong?
I would call it “Quite a lot”. I want to mention several items that must be avoided in any case.
Meetings without an agenda are actually worth nothing and annoy committed project partners. These meetings are unstructured and essentially “time wasters”.
No Zoom Link
Virtual meetings need a digital communication tool. It is the responsibility of the coordinator or the project manager in charge to send this link in tile (minimum of one day in advance).
Be in time – poor time management
Half an hour before the meeting starts, the coordinator realizes this. This behaviour looks to me like the project manager has no interest in the project.
What should we conclude from this situation?
This situation is typical of a chaotic project process. The coordinator is either overburdened with project management or does not show the necessary commitment to the project – or both. After working under these circumstances is difficult and unpleasant, one should seek conversation as a project partner. The project manager should realise that something is wrong here and rethink the project management. As a partner in the project, one expects an improvement within a reasonable period of time. If this improvement does not occur, the problem can be discussed again with the entire management group. If there is still no change, it is better to leave the project as a partner. Managing virtual meetings is easy – if you ever learned about meetings in general.