None of us is safe from the risk of running into a terrible project at some point. It would be nice if all of the work we were given was easy to do and a lot of fun but sadly we are bound to run into projects which we like a lot less than would be ideal.
The good news is that there are some ways of getting around this and one of the best methods is to use your team meetings to help you deal with those projects which make you want to pull your hair out.
Get Things Off Your Chest
When your projects start to go wrong who do you turn to in order to get the problems and issues of your chest? I have tried speaking to my partner or to my friends but to be honest none of them really know what I am talking or all at that interested in hearing about project plans or milestones. The truth of the matter is that your project team is made up of the only people whom you can really speak to when you have issues you want to talk over. Sometimes the simple act of ranting about something for a few minutes can be enough to make you feel a whole lot better, and in some case it might even allow you to think of a solution or a new way forward. It isn’t a great idea to appear to your team members to be sort of project manager who constantly complains about colleagues and who finds problems where there are none. However, there might come a time when you feel that you will explode if you don’t get some issues off your chest.
Take a Break
Team meetings can also be useful for getting away from your desk and having as break from the routine. This is especially worthwhile when the reason that your project is terrible is that it contains a large amount of dull and repetitive tasks. In this it probably won’t just be you who needs a break; your team members probably also want to take a few minutes away from their desks now and then. In this kind of situation I think that it can be a good idea to call informal team meetings on a more regular basis and check whether everyone is fine or whether it might be time to re-arrange the work around the team to keep everyone interested.
Get Fresh Ideas
When you run into a brick wall on a project and genuinely don’t know what to do next who will you turn to? The people in your team are those who are closest to the piece of work and who can help you out with new ideas. Some project managers like to keep control of everything in their project and prefer to avoid getting their team involved in anything which they see as being part of their role. I don’t see the point of acting like this and I would definitely suggest that you get your team involved when you need some fresh ideas. Sometimes all it takes is for a team member to come up with a new angle for the ideas to start flowing and for the project to start moving in the right direction again.
Have Some Fun
Finally, we can’t forget to take into account the fact that team meetings can and should be fun. This means that they can give a bit of light relief to both you and the rest of team when you need it. If you are on a tough, draining project or you are dealing with difficult stakeholders then some fun at the team meetings could be just what you need. As the project manager you should take the initiative and look for ways to make these meetings more enjoyable for everyone who attends them. If the project is difficult then you might find that the team meetings become depressing events very quickly. If everyone walks into the meeting room looking deflated and tired then the atmosphere will gradually get worse and you could end up with a seriously disheartened and depressed group of workers. I like to add in ideas like short games or fun presentations to keep everyone’s spirits up. Even when the project is going badly you can use this sort of technique to stop the problems from appearing too big and from getting everyone down in the mouth.