Close icon
Blog

Get it done! 🎯 How to Run Great Project Meetings

Tips and templates for leading professional project meetings.

Get it done! 🎯 How to Run Great Project Meetings

Most organizational projects require at least occasional meetings. When multiple team members come together from various departments, however, leading a project meeting can feel daunting. Juggling the many different roles and perspectives in the room is tricky without a structure set in place.

Done right, project meetings provide a space for everyone to give status updates and for you to assign action items as needed. Managing the many balls in the air, personalities involved, and tasks to be completed doesn’t have to be overwhelming. To lead professional project meetings, you just need to understand how they work and how to prepare for them.

This article contains these Project Meeting Agenda Templates (Contents)

What Gets Discussed in a Project Meeting

During most project meetings, attendees can share status updates, unexpected challenges, possible solutions, and progress made toward goals. However, what gets discussed will depend on the type of project meeting you’re holding.

For example, during a project kickoff meeting, there won’t be any updates, challenges, or progress to share. Instead, you’ll focus on introducing team members, providing background information, and setting goals and timelines as in this agenda:

Kick-Off Meeting


Introductions/Icebreakers

  • Ensure everyone knows one another
  • Set the tone with a light icebreaker

Background Information

  • Explain what created a need for this project
  • Share historical information that provides important context
  • Provide any other relevant information about clients, previous projects, etc.

Project Goals

  • Review or decide on high-level goals and project scope
  • Define how success will be measured

Major Tasks and Timeline

  • How long should the project take, including major milestones?
  • Identify which people and teams will be responsible for what tasks
  • Ensure everyone understands their roles and deliverables

Logistics

  • Clearly explain how communication about the project will happen
  • Exchange contact information between everyone involved
  • Provide any needed explanations on the project tracking system to be used
  • Agree on reporting methods

Potential Challenges & Assets

  • What hurdles may we encounter?
  • How can we overcome them?

Q&A

  • Open the floor to questions

Next Steps

  • Who is doing what to get the project started?

While a project will only have one kickoff meeting (hopefully!), it will likely have multiple project check-ins. Project check-in meetings cover deadlines, milestones, status updates, roadblocks, and more. Here’s an agenda template to illustrate:

Project Check-In Meeting


Our Objective

Reiterate the objective of the project

Deadlines/Milestones

Include in the agenda high-level milestones

Project Update Roundtable

  • Name
  • Summarize 1-5 updates here in the agenda
  • Name
  • Summarize 1-5 updates here in the agenda

Roadblocks & Risks

  • Where are you blocked? How can the team help?

Next Steps

  • @name Task by DUE-DATE

Just as important as what is discussed in a project meeting is what isn’t discussed. These meetings aren’t a place to get project work done or share information that could have been in an email. Time is precious, so only schedule meetings when it’s absolutely necessary to get the project’s team members together. 

Free, 15-minute guide to shorter, fewer, better meetings.

Thank you! We've sent Vital Meetings to your email.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
"My meetings have transformed."
—Nick Valuri, Zapier
Vital Meetings book cover

How To Prepare for a Project Meeting

It’s important to plan for and manage meetings professionally to ensure projects run smoothly. Project managers are generally responsible for things like:

  • Scheduling project meetings
  • Determining meeting frequency
  • Providing a meeting agenda
  • Facilitating the meeting

Try not to overwhelm the team with too many meetings. You might even consider only scheduling meetings for major deadlines or when a need for one becomes apparent. Decision-making, brainstorming solutions, and conflict resolution are all great reasons to call a meeting.

Most importantly, however, be sure to provide team members with an agenda for every meeting. An agenda sets expectations and opens the door for attendees to bring any issues to your attention in advance. It also makes it possible for your colleagues to gather information needed to run the project meeting smoothly.

An agenda should include a clear objective, or project meeting goal. By setting project meeting goals, you ensure everyone understands why they’re attending. This will hopefully keep the meeting on-task and efficient. No one wants a long, drawn-out meeting because nobody knew what it was about!

If you are checking in with a client about their project, it’s especially important to maintain a professional impression. Provide an agenda like the one below, making sure to gather necessary data from your team ahead of time:

Customer Check-In Meeting


Review

What has changed since your last customer check-in? Review recent events and key metric updates to gain an up-to-date, accurate understanding of your client.

Positive Highlights

How has our team helped this client achieve their goals since their last customer check-in? How can we improve these factors?

Concerns, Shortcomings, or Risks

Does the customer have any problems with our products or services? Identify all risks that may lead to customer disengagement or churn.

Objectives for Next Meeting

What specific goals does the client want to achieve before the next customer check-in? How can we help?

Opportunities to Increase Engagement / Upsell

Are there opportunities to increase the value we provide this customer?

Key Takeaways

List all insights and actionables worth sharing with other departments.

Summary

In 1-2 sentences, summarize the current state of the customer so other team members can understand our relationship with them. Consider the information above, key metrics, and overall sentiment.

Track Project Progress

You can use some types of project meetings to effectively track project progress. For example, though frequent project meetings aren’t necessarily helpful, daily stand-ups help paint a broad picture of a project’s progress without demanding too much time.

The daily stand-up meeting is a unique type of project meeting. It’s goal is simple: to have team members share progress, remove roadblocks, and stay aligned with project goals.

The secret to the daily stand-up’s effectiveness lies in its stripped-down model. Ideally, this meeting lasts only between 5 and 20 minutes. This is despite the fact that every team member has a chance to speak. How does that work? Check out the simplicity of a stand-up meeting template:

Stand-Up Meeting


Name

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What will you do today?
  • Where are you blocked?
  • Comfort Level — How close are we to hitting our goals?

Name

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What will you do today?
  • Where are you blocked?
  • Comfort Level — How close are we to hitting our goals?

With quick daily stand-ups where team members briefly share progress, plans, and hurdles, you can track project progress and direct attention to needs as they arise.

Conduct a Project Review

Finally, once a project is complete, a project review or post-mortem helps debrief the journey and inform future projects.

An excellent way to conduct a project review is with a retrospective meeting. In this type of meeting, attendees highlight what went well, reflect on roadblocks, and acknowledge where there was room for improvement. In some cases, more than one retrospective may help track the long-term success of a project with ongoing results.

Plan a retrospective with a meeting agenda like this one:

Retrospective


Quick Review

Summarize all notable events since the last retrospective. Share updates on initiatives, key metrics, and anecdotes. Compare the current timeline and deliverables with what was originally planned.

Positive Highlights

What went well? Were any special milestones accomplished? Let each team member contribute.

Reflect on Roadblocks

What went wrong? Did any unforeseen obstacles arise? Identify the root cause of each one. Allow each team member to contribute. And remember, this isn't a blame game—focus on continuous improvement.

Room for Improvement

What were the main lessons from the roadblocks discussed? How can we solve each issue and improve?

Other Important Feedback

Summarize any other valuable discussion points. It does not have to be directly related to the retrospective's main topic.

Main Takeaways

What were the main insights from this retrospective meeting? Include key decisions, plans, and any opportunities or concerns that should be shared with key stakeholders.

Take Action

Clarify next steps, who's completing them, how we will measure them, and when they should be done by. Note this information here to share and assign.

Follow-Up

How will we keep in touch and stay up-to-date about progress? When is the next retrospective?

Run Your Project Meetings Like a Boss

When tracking the multiple moving parts of a project, it’s easy for project meetings to get off-track. Set meetings up for success by planning ahead and providing an agenda well in advance. This allows attendees to prepare for the meeting and helps everyone stay on task while it’s in progress.

Need help with taking meeting notes and assigning action items? Check out Hugo’s free tools to help keep your meetings organized and projects on-task.

Vital Meetings
A methodology for amazing meetings. Say goodbye to boring, long, and unproductive meetings.
Get it

Want more productive meetings?

Let Hugo help with agendas, note-taking & tasks

Get Hugo Free
Connect your calendar, invite your team and experience better meetings in minutes

Want more productive meetings?

Let Hugo help with agendas, note-taking & tasks