Project board meetings

  • The Project Board is the Project Manager’s decision-making body. To get the most out of the support of the Project Board it is in the Project Manager’s interest to ensure effective administration and management of those meetings.

  • An agenda for all project meetings should be prepared and issued to the approved attendees.

    It is good practice to list the standard Project Board roles against the name of the relevant individual concerned at the head of each agenda.  It is often the case that members of Project Boards have different roles on a number of other committees or boards and this is a helpful reminder to everyone of who has what role on your particular board.

    The agenda, together with all papers for the board, should be issued to the approved attendees no later than 7 days before the meeting date.

    The agenda and all papers for the board should be approved by the Project Executive/Sponsor as appropriate and ready to put to the board.

    Download Meeting Agenda template

    All board papers should be issued no later than 7 days before the date of the meeting to enable them to be given full consideration.

    If you do not do this your board members may not be able to schedule time to fully consider your papers.  This will have an impact on the quality of the decisions that the board can reach and inhibit the support the board can afford the project.  It may also delay things as decision-making may be deferred to a later meeting.

    Ideally the papers should be compiled and issued to the attendees in the form of a single pdf document and not as a live Google document.  This is to ensure that all attendees have read the same version of documentation and that the board decisions can be clearly linked to the document versions that they were based upon.  It also enables a download of a single pack of the papers in the order in which they are listed on the agenda which allows board members to focus on the content and discussion during the meeting rather than on finding the right document from a suite of separate papers or download tabs.

    Although we commonly refer to these still as ‘minutes’ it has long been the case that meetings will now only record decisions and action points.

    Whilst ‘minutes’ or Action Points may occasionally make very brief reference (usually a single sentence) to the key aspect of a discussion there is rarely any need or benefit to recording further details of it.

    Occasionally a member of the board may make specific request for a point to be ‘minuted’.  Where this happens you should ensure that this is done.  However, these sorts of requests are usually an indicator of unresolved concern and where this happens the Project Manager would be wise to reflect upon the reasons for this and the risks it poses and how best to work with their stakeholders to alleviate or manage that.

    Action Points should issued to Project Board members no later than 48 hours (based on working week) after the meeting has been held.  If AP’s are not issued promptly they cease to serve their function as a reminder of the activity needed.  Each action should be summarised, timescales set and action owners appointed.

    The Project Manager should maintain a log of all outstanding AP’s from their Project Board and use this as a tool between meetings to review actions required, remind those with action outstanding of what they have agreed to do, and  prompt action owners for feedback on their actions in time to report this back to the next board.

    Download Meeting Action Points template

  • Week 3

    Week 2

    Week 4

    Week 1

    Mtg pack received

    Notify progress

    Time to ‘action’ Action Points

    Meeting held

    Meeting held

    Informed decisions made

    Informed decisions made

    Reminder & prompt

    Reminder & prompt

    Decisions and APs

    Papers issued

    Decisions and APs

    Summary

    Update

    Approved by Chair

    Pass to Chair