You will rarely find any project, regardless of its size, type, location or duration that does not require have meetings between the project stakeholders and project team members. Meetings are scheduled gatherings of individuals for stated purpose, to discuss and act upon matters of common interest. Meetings serve valuable purpose in the project to effectively communicate information, exchange ideas. render decisions, resolve issues, coordinate work, prevent problems among others.
Those meetings could have different subject including but not limited to Design Review, Value Engineering, Safety, Quality, Technical Review, Site Mobilization, Progress Review, Pre-Tender Clarifications, Bid Award, Kickoff Meeting, Stage Gate Review, Pre-Installation Meeting, Closeout Meeting, Handover Meeting, Claims Negotiation and Settlement Among many others. The frequency of those meetings could vary as some could be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or when needed.
It is therefore no wonder that project management team members spend more than 50% of their time in participating in meetings. This brings the challenge on how to ensure that project stakeholders and team members are getting the maximum benefit and value of the meeting minutes that are used to document what goes on during those meetings.
The first requirement for a meeting minute is that it needs to capture the particular of the meeting such as project, subject, location, date, timing among others. Second it needs to captures the details of those invited to attend the meeting and who has actually attended the meeting. The third requirement which is the most important of all, the business items discussed during the meeting, who are responsible to address those business items and by which date, the status of this business item if it is still open or closed, the actual date this business item was closed and the project schedule activity that could be subject to be delayed if this business item is not closed as per the set due date. Of course, additional details such as business item category and type can be added to improve the classification of the business item.
Another challenge in maintaining complete, accurate and effective meeting minutes is that it is common practice that during a meeting, documents such as drawings, reports, pictures, videos, catalogues among others shared among those attending the meeting. Therefore, it is critical that documents are attached to the meeting minutes to ease their reference and review.
When the meeting minute data is complete and all supportive documents are attached, the meeting coordinator can then submit the meeting through a pre-set workflow to those who have attended the meeting as well as others who might need to be involved to review, approve and share the content.
In addition, meeting minutes require to keep track of the history of business items from one meeting to the other. Therefore, the follow-on meeting agenda needs to be generated from the previous meeting to ensure that closed items are removed and on-going items get captured in the next meeting. This will enable the project team to keep track of all business items and when those items were closed.
Another challenge that could face project team members who are involved on more than one project is how to consolidate due actions across all projects as well as share knowledge for business items discussed on one project to another. In addition, this will enable the project team if there is any conflict or overlap that could affect another project.
Capturing this data from meeting minutes will also enable having reports on pending business items as well as develop key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the efficiency of resolving meeting business items as well as trigger actions when the performance is not in accordance with approved performance benchmarks.
PMWeb Enterprise Project Management Information System is one of the solutions that can be used to improve the management of meeting minutes across all projects within an enterprise. PMWeb allows setting access rights to restrict what projects a user can access and what actions can be done on the authorized module, which in this case will be meeting minute module. Of course, all meetings types are sessions are captured on the same repository.
For each meeting minute, PMWeb allows capturing the details of the meeting such as date, location, timing, type, category among many others. In addition, it allows capturing who are invited to attend the meeting and those who have actually attended the meeting.
For each meeting minutes, PMWeb allows capturing the business items discussed during the meeting as well as all particular details such as who are assigned to take action on the business items, by which date, when this action was completed, which activity in the project schedule will be impacted by this business item should there be a delay in taking action among other data.
Attachments to the meeting minutes such as drawings, pictures, videos among others can be attached to the meeting minutes. Those documents can be either stored on PMWeb document management repository or other locations such as your company server, MS SharePoint, Aconex and others. In addition to attaching documents, sometimes the project team might need to link other project records like Request for Information (RFI), daily report, another meeting minutes or even an email communication to the meeting minutes. All those options are available in PMWeb attachment command.
At this stage, the user can share the meeting minutes with those who have attended the meeting and others using the pre-defined conditional workflow which details the steps for submitting, reviewing, sharing and approving the meeting minutes. PMWeb visual workflow module allows creating workflow branches that will be aligned with conditions and rules to direct the meeting minutes to different recipients depending on the attribute values of the meeting minutes.
The value of having an Enterprise Project Management Information System is not limited to optimizing the process of managing meeting minutes or the many other processes that are required for managing a project but the business intelligence analysis and data visualization that will become available for the project team. All meeting minutes will be automatically aggregated in a tabular report to present the information that a project team member wants to have. This information can be grouped, ordered, filtered in any desired format. Similarly, the same will be done for data from other processes such as RFI, submittals, change orders, progress invoices, risks, issues among others.
The information of related data such as Meeting Minutes, RFI, Submittals, Transmittals, Correspondence among others can be consolidated in a dashboard that will details the performance of document management. For example, key performance indicators for volume, growth over time, approval periods, items by status among others will be captured at this dashboard. There will be other dashboards for cost management, schedule management, risk management among others.
Those dashboards will provide the input for the project dashboard which will usually summarize the KPIs of all those dashboards as well as show additional data such construction camera among others. If the project was part of a specific program, then usually another dashboard will be created to detail the program performance. Finally, all programs and projects can be aggregated and presented on the enterprise dashboard. It is very common to link projects to their geographical location where the project status can be displayed on a map as well as more details in the scorecard.