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Smart collaboration for project managers

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As a project manager, you need to fulfill many different roles: air traffic controller, moderator, monitor and problem-solver. Your job is to ensure that every team member has what he or she needs, and that every step of the project is completed on time. With so many moving parts, intelligent collaboration is critical.

Only involve necessary people
For project meetings, limit the number of attendants to individuals that need to be present. Inviting colleagues who don’t need to be there is a waste of their time, and it can bog down the meeting with too many points of view. Keep these meeting invitation lists as efficient as possible, just like your meetings.

However, make sure that decision-makers are able to attend. These calls should be scheduled in order to make decisions and get work done. If these decision-makers cannot attend, reschedule. Without team members who have the authority to make decisions, the meeting will be a waste.

ThinkRite Assistant helps project managers keep their teams on track with efficient meetings and smart collaboration.
ThinkRite Assistant helps project managers keep their teams on track with efficient meetings and smart collaboration.

Do away with progress meetings
A common occurrence for project teams is to get everyone together and one by one have each person go over what he or she is working on, and then update the group on progress. These progress updates can become huge wastes of time for the participants.

A more efficient method of have everyone update the group on status is to use project management software. There are a number of digital tools that team members can use to track their tasks and provide updates. This lets team members check in without having their work disrupted by excessive conference calls and webinars.

Stay on topic
Write and share an agenda ahead of time so your team can review the important points. Keep it simple, and if anyone brings up a point that could take the meeting off-topic, use the “parking lot rule.” According to Project Management Hacks, the parking lot rule is when an attendee mentions an interesting point that doesn’t fit into the agenda, write it down and include it as part of the takeaways. Your team can consider this as a point of discussion for a future meeting if it has merit.

Start and end on time
This should go without saying, but it’s a problem that plagues many project teams. A major pain point of conference calls and webinars is all of the typing it takes to actually start or join a call. ThinkRite Assistant cuts this down to touch of a single button, scanning your calendar for appointments and inputting all of the phone numbers and access codes for you. To start or join a call, all you need to do is click the “Call” button.

ThinkRite Assistant will also notify everyone when a meeting is ending, so you don’t go over schedule. By keeping the group on schedule, this virtual personal assistant fosters more effective conference calls and webinars. If you’re running late, you can also click the “Notify” button to inform your attendees. Participants are taken away from their work when they call in to these meetings. Make sure that you’re managing these calls by the clock and you’re sticking to your agenda so they can get back to their work promptly.

“Highlight the major takeaways and tasks that need to be accomplished next.”

Track actions and takeaways
Every member of a project team has a designated role and important tasks- otherwise they would not be invited to the calls (see the first point). It’s easy for attendees to forget important points or confuse details without having a reference.

At the end of every meeting, it’s extremely helpful to highlight the major takeaways and tasks that need to be accomplished next. Otherwise attendees might forget, or interpret things incorrectly. Getting this information out quickly while it’s still on everyone’s mind is smart collaboration.

ThinkRite Assistant makes this possible by capturing meeting items with just one click, and sharing them with all attendants. This document will be useful as a point of reference, and it will ensure everyone is on the same page. By capturing the important takeaways, ThinkRite Assistant promotes better meeting productivity.

Does your project team need more efficient conference calls? Download ThinkRite Assistant today to improve meeting ROI.

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