Get it done! 🎯 How to Run Great Project Meetings

Tips and agenda templates for leading professional project meetings.

The Meetingnotes Team
March 5, 2024

This article contains these free Project Meeting Agenda Templates

  1. Kick-Off Meeting
  2. Project Check-In
  3. Client Check-In
  4. Stand-Up Meeting
  5. Retrospective


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.

Steps to Run Great Project Meetings:

  1. Understand What Gets Discussed
  2. Know How To Prepare
  3. Track Project Progress
  4. Conduct A Project Review
  5. Run Your Project Meeting Like A Boss

1. 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:

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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. In many ways, this agenda template is similar to a weekly team meeting agenda template. Here’s an agenda template to illustrate:

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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. 

2. 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. The project meeting agenda makes it possible for your colleagues to gather information needed to run the project meeting smoothly.

An agenda sets expectations and opens the door for attendees to bring any issues to your attention in advance of the meeting.

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:

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3. 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:

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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.

4. 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:

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5. 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.

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