3. Conduct project status meetings
There's no better way to set and manage expectations than simply checking in with your team and your clients. Whether you work solo or on a team of 20, in an office or remotely, sharing progress is one of the best things you can do to keep communication flowing.
Internal team status meetings
In general, a 15-minute in-person (or video chat) review of the day's tasks is a nice way to catch up with your team. Be flexible with your team in determining what's the best approach to conducting your status call.
Once you start, simply take turns and give everyone a chance to talk about what they're working on that day. A quick check-in will force everyone to organize project priorities before the meeting. That little bit of accountability makes a big difference.
Before you wrap up, ask something like, "Does anyone need help? And does anyone have time to help with other tasks if needed?" A simple question like that can help you build trust and rapport with your team—and, of course, it helps you all stay more efficient with your work.
How you approach project status meetings will depend on the project you're working on, team schedules, and maybe even the intensity of the work.
Client status updates
It's good practice to keep an open, consistent line of communication with your clients. Ensure you’re staying current on all project issues by providing a weekly status report via email or phone call, and check in on alignment with project objectives.
Status reports not only help you and your clients stay on track, they also keep you realistic and honest about your work, process, budgets, and other issues. Making time to sit down and discuss these points will pay off in terms of your client relationship and will help your team see the project to completion. With regular status meetings, you're making sure everyone involved reviews and reaffirms the expectations you established at the start of the project.
A good status report covers:
- What was done last week
- What is being done this week and next week
- Action items
- Update on timeline
- Update on budget
- Potential project risks
Lastly, don’t forget to have a bit of fun with your status meetings. Use the time to catch up with your team and clients on non-work-related topics.