Forecast frequently to enable tactical shifts

 

Good project management involves frequent forecasting. While it can be useful to forecast results right at the beginning of a project’s life cycle, the true magic of forecasting is that it allows for constant readjustment throughout. Forecasting allows you and your team to stay on track by anticipating extra tasks and resources for the project plan or budget and identifying tasks and resources that may no longer be necessary.

Frequent project forecasts facilitate proactive planning and flexibility. They can allow the project manager to regularly update the business case, which can help the team members keep the project on track, and also allow sponsors and other stakeholders to understand the reasons for any delays or changes.

A key element of project forecasting is to review the risk events that have already occurred and assess the remaining risk triggers. There are always a number of unknown, and often unpredictable, variables in any project, but frequent forecasting provides the project manager with valuable knowledge that enables proactive resource management as the work progresses.

What should we forecast and how frequently?

Frequent forecasting around time, costs and quality of deliverables is vital. Each forecast will allow the project manager to update the business case so that all team members and relevant sponsors know exactly how the project is moving along. The project manager will also be able to reallocate resources and seek sponsor approval in a timely manner.

Time forecasts allow for the reallocation of resources, including team members. To accurately forecast project duration, it is necessary to monitor the activities that will impact the project completion date as well as those that influence project milestones. Modern project management software lets you log updates on the progression of these activities as often as needed for any individual project, which will depend on its nature. You may need to do this daily, weekly or as you complete each relevant task.

Cost forecasts allow the project manager to plan for an injection of more resources and seek sponsor or management approval when necessary. Most projects can benefit from employing the Earned Value Management System in order to accurately forecast ongoing project costs. Depending on resources and the complexity of the project, you can also use trend forecasting, also known as “straight-line” forecasting, to estimate future project costs, although this can be less accurate. Cost forecasting is also something that software-based systems incorporating financial data to support budgeting decisions can help with, and again, using such software lets forecasting occur on an ongoing basis and as frequently as is appropriate for the individual project.

Quality forecasts also allow for necessary adjustments to the project schedule or resources. Frequently forecasting in the area of performance and the quality of the project deliverables increases the chances that the project outcomes will match those identified at the planning stage. According to the “Rule of Tens,” the cost of correcting a technical issue increases tenfold as a project progresses from one phase to the next. This means, of course, that you must identify and correct issues around performance and quality as soon as possible. You can do this as long as forecasting around these factors happens frequently and in advance of the project moving on to a new phase.

Understanding the limitations of forecasting

A forecast is not a prediction. Even the best forecasting is still simply a projection based on current data, which is why frequent forecasting is necessary. Data is always subject to change, and forecasts need updated as new information becomes available. Decisions made based on your current forecast should always stay flexible. They are the best that you can do given your current knowledge of the situation. Remember that as soon as that knowledge expands, you have the opportunity to do better.

Frequent forecasting also narrows uncertainty as the project progresses. At the beginning of the project, you are looking a long way into the future, and your team should be prepared for the fact that early on, forecasting has a lot of limitations. As the project moves through each new phase, forecasting should become progressively more accurate. Towards the end of the project, forecasting correctly should be much easier. At this stage, there are naturally less variables, although they still may exist. The project manager or software can also use the team’s past performance to forecast future performance.

Types of forecasting

There are a few types of forecasting that you can apply to project management, and they may change throughout the project’s life cycle. Qualitative techniques can be particularly useful when data is scarce, which is typically at the beginning of a new project. These techniques may involve human judgement and rating schemes to help forecast possible outcomes.

Statistical techniques become more important when there is a lot of data to support forecasting. In project management, this might happen in the later stages of a project or when there are many comparable completed projects to draw data from. You should, however, remember that statistical techniques assume that past performance predicts future performance. While this is a reasonable assumption, it is more likely to be correct over the short term than the long term. The recent past can forecast the immediate future better than historical data can forecast the distant future, unless data patterns are very stable with few variables that can potentially impact the project.

Ultimately, frequent forecasting that uses recent and relevant data is a key element of successful project management. A responsive project manager can use forecasting to implement an ongoing series of tactical shifts that will keep projects running on time and on budget throughout their duration.

Verto’s project management software gives project management teams the ability to customise their forecasting needs to their individual projects. To find out more, register for our free 14-day trial!


Give your projects room to grow

 

 

When it comes to project management, ease of implementation is vital to success. A complicated project is not always better, and one that is easy to implement often starts quickly and meets all its objectives. 

 

It is not quite that simple, however. Ease of implementation often intertwines with another important factor: project maturity. Organisations at different levels of project maturity thrive when they use techniques and tools appropriate to their specific level. It is often useful to not only look at how to make project management easier but also determine the level of complexity that is right for your organisation. 

 

Project management maturity refers to how well-equipped an organisation is to manage its projects and helps define the tools and techniques needed for project success. Businesses and other institutions progress over time, slowly developing an organisation-wide approach to project management.  

 

Increasing project management maturity leads to the development of widely accepted and replicable methodology, strategy and decision-making processes. You might assume that the way to implement successful project management is to reach a high level of project maturity as quickly as possible, but this is unrealistic. As the name suggests, project maturity is something that tends to happen organically over time, and it cannot, for example, force itself on a new start-up with a skeleton staff and few processes in place. 

 

Ease of implementation is not about fast-tracking project maturity but about choosing the right tools for your organisation’s current level. An organisation in the early stages of project maturity may need to keep things simple. The appropriate project management software will involve systems that are easy to implement and quick to use, giving you the ability to share files and report visually to other team members and stakeholders. A more mature organisation may well need more complex systems that are able to manage not only its projects and programmes but also its resourcing, finances, planning and forecasting.      

 

Organisations can benefit from figuring out their current level of maturity based on the Project Management Maturity Matrix. This identifies four levels of project management maturity. At level one, the success of the project relies almost solely on the efforts of the project manager and team members. As maturity increases, project management becomes all about methods and systems as the organisation learns to replicate the methodology of earlier successful projects. 

 

While increasing project maturity is desirable, the success of any project rests on using the right tools for the current level of maturity. At level one, a team can complete a project well as long as it has a way to communicate, share data and give feedback. At higher levels, an entire host of different functions contribute to a successful project. 

 

Verto project management software gives organisations room to grow. You can start simply with a product right out of the box and add functionality as and when required. This allows teams and organisations to mature over time as their project management software grows alongside them. To find out more, register for our free 14-day trial! 


VertoSense: ultimate flexibility with dynamic infographics

 

 

VertoSense is a powerful new tool we’ve introduced in response to the need of our clients to better manage and visualise their project dependencies. 

Instead of just focusing on the traditional elements of tasks & milestones, VertoSense allows users to record the links between any of the project elements. For example, a cost may be dependent on a milestone, an issue’s resolution dependent on an action or even a benefit linked to a change in scope.

Greater flexibility for better business 

The enhanced flexibility and customisation of VertoSense means that project management professionals and stakeholders can make determinations about how dependencies are established and recorded, taking account of subtle dependencies that can be lost in more rigid systems. 

These dependencies can be set up as often as necessary and between as many elements as needed so it really is extremely flexible. 

Intuitive design 

Creating a customised dependency automatically generates a dynamic infographic which shows all the connections. You can see where any other projects are dependent on yours, where your project depends on any others and where you have any internal dependencies. Refining your view to just what you want to see makes assessing impacts as easy and visual as possible.   

 

Pinpoint accuracy 

The VertoSense linking functionality also provides teams and stakeholders with a significantly improved means of communication throughout the project management framework. All project management software does this doesn’t it? Well, not quite in this way. 

With VertoSense, users can share information with their collaborators through pinpointing to get feedback, troubleshoot minor issues, request review and more. The VertoSense function guides contacts to the exact place where you need help so there’s no time wasted trying to direct attention to the relevant area. Such intuitive collaboration is crucial in project management and means users can instantly see what needs to be done, do it and get on with other tasks. 

Communication is as easy as starting the chat - every project automatically has a chat group containing all the project members or you can create your own groups as needed. 

Make it easy to see and understand 

VertoSense can dramatically streamline and simplify your next project management task. From improving recorded dependencies and generating intuitive visuals to helping you see where and how various internal and external projects are connected, this powerful tool can take your project management to the next level.  

This tool offers a customisable solution for those looking to boost communication and increase the transparency of any project. 

VertoSense comes alive in a demo, so to see it in action contact us at info@vertocloud.com or call +44 (0)118 334 6200. 


How agile teams can work together

 

At the heart of any successful project is a well-managed, cohesive team. While this sounds simple, it is often far from it, with team collaboration often hindered by a fast-paced, ever-changing work environment. Increasingly, the demands placed on the modern project management team include shifting priorities and changes in timelines and objectives, as new data is incorporated into the original project. It is, then, vital to put in place an agile team that can effectively work together in spite of the uncertainties they will face.

 

What is agile?

 

“Agile” is now a concept that applies to goals, principles, practices and, of course, teams. Being agile is about setting aside rigid, traditional, 20th-century management techniques, and becoming responsive, flexible and collaborative. Agile teams are poised to respond, adapt and pivot in a working culture that has become increasing volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

 

Agile teams must learn to prioritise responding to change over following a plan – which turns traditional project management techniques upside down. At first glance, the agile workplace, housing an agile team, is not the ideal environment for traditional project management strategies, but project management strategies can be adapted. Project management can also be agile.

 

Making project management agile

 

In an agile environment, project management works differently. Traditional project management establishes a detailed plan, with specific deliverables for each stage, and then follows the plan. Agile project management involves defining a desired outcome, and then working towards it in stages. Each stage of the plan is delivered in a short period of time, and then the team clarifies what needs to be done next.

 

In project management, agility matters most at the point of execution. The idea of agility as a broad ideal may seem inconsistent with the “milestones and deliverables” focus of traditional project management. However, agility at the point of execution is possible in well-managed projects. Teams can work together to execute specific tasks, while remaining responsive and ready to adapt to whatever new issues the execution of that task generates.

 

Project managers who nurture agility within their teams create successful outcomes. They learn to track and monitor progress, identify shifts in priorities and objectives, respond to new information, redistribute collaborative work as needed, map and manage inter-dependencies between different groups, and identify high-potential but overlooked experts who can take the burden off other, over-stretched, team members. Agile project management, far from being a step away from the benefits of traditional project management, builds extra strengths and advantages into the way that the team approaches tasks, deliverables and milestones.

 

Agility in the public sector

 

Agile concepts are already well-established within the private sector, and not just within small businesses and start-ups. Firms such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft have been quick to embrace an agile approach, throughout the organisation, and at a deep cultural level, but can this approach translate to public sector organisations with more traditional and measured working practices?

 

Agility in the public sector is possible and highly desirable. However, it needs to be accepted that organisational culture is what drives true agile thinking, and with large organisations, a change of culture is a significant challenge in itself. The first step is an honest assessment of current working culture, which will inform the change needed to transition to an agile approach. Transforming the bureaucracy associated with large public sector organisations into many small, self-contained agile teams, empowered to make rapid decisions and resolve issues quickly, will not happen overnight.

 

The role of the project management office with agile teams

 

There is still a role for the project management office in a world of empowered, self-organising, agile teams, and this role is essential. Agile teams in a large organisation are part of the wider enterprise, and still have important obligations to fulfil. With many independent, agile teams under its wing, the project management office is responsible for ensuring that the organisation is still delivering value, while maintaining quality, reputation and stakeholder confidence. Ultimately, the project management office is still responsible for oversight and governance, even as more power and individual decision-making is delegated to agile teams.

 

Agile project management tools 

 

As project management becomes agile, the tools needed for effective team management evolve. The best agile tools for your team will vary, but they must cover the following important elements.

 

Task management

 

Agile teams need sophisticated task management tools. These tools can take the form of virtual Kanban or Scrum boards with projects, task lists, time records and expenses. This allows team members to track tasks that they are not directly involved in, and makes incomplete, in-progress tasks visible to the whole team, facilitating easy monitoring and “dovetailing” with other tasks.

 

Team collaboration

 

Team collaboration tools allow for centralised, visible communication. Team members can share updates with each other, and with other local and distributed teams, and easily communicate with each other about shifting timelines, task lists, feedback and assignments.

 

Agile metrics, reporting and analytics

 

Reporting and analytics are vital to agile teams. Team members constantly responding to the metrics, data and analysis being compiled by the team as a whole is at the heart of what makes a team agile. These tools need to incorporate time tracking and projection, easy-to-understand progress reports for stakeholders, quality assurance and progress. There also need to be systems in place to identify and remedy project obstacles, evaluate performance and appraise financials.

 

Integrations

 

Any individual tool is only as good as the system in which it operates. How well does each tool play with other tools you are using? The best approach to agile project management is often an integrated software system that can be easily customised to the needs of your team.

 

Project management teams can work together easily and efficiently in an agile environment. However, it does require that traditional project management techniques are adapted, with the core concepts and benefits of agility kept in mind as those adaptations are designed and implemented.

 

To see what Verto can do to help your agile team work together easily and efficiently, register for our free 60 day trial.


How to Prioritise Your Tasks

 

How you prioritise tasks defines the success of any project. Prioritising correctly can make the difference between an easy-to-manage, successful, on-budget project delivered on time and a stressful, failed project delivered late and over budget. But how do you prioritise tasks? And what can trip up you and your team, even if you have the best of intentions? 

The urgency effect 

 

We’re all familiar with the idea of urgent tasks and important tasks. Urgent tasks are ones that are getting very close to their deadline, while important tasks are the ones that will contribute the most to our desired outcome. A task can be very low value but still seem urgent if we feel that we need to get it done today. Another task can be vital to the success of a project, but if the deadline is a long way off, then it is not urgent.

 

Research has shown that people consistently prioritise urgent tasks over more important tasks. This persists even if the results of completing the urgent tasks are of very little value, and even if there’s ample time to complete all the tasks, meaning that the sense of urgency is actually an illusion. Researchers call this effect “mere urgency”, where the urgency of a task distracts us from the fact that the task itself is not important.

 

We tend to do the (rare) tasks that are urgent and important first. Understandably, we also leave the tasks that are not urgent and not important until last. However, in the middle, where we have a lot of medium-priority tasks, we keep prioritising urgent tasks with a low payoff, in terms of results, over important ones with a higher payoff.

 

Managers can, with the right systems, overcome the urgency effect. It’s done by keeping team members focused on outcomes over timelines. It can help to rank each task within a project by importance so that team members can clearly see when they are faced with a very high-priority task, carrying a very important outcome, over a very low-priority task that might have a tighter deadline.

 

Realistic timelines can also help to overcome the urgency effect. People revert to prioritising based solely on urgency when they perceive themselves as being pushed for time. When they feel that they have time to complete all their tasks, they are more likely to prioritise by importance.

 

Balancingindividual and organisational priorities 

 

There is often conflict between individual priorities and organisational or project priorities. In practice, this is often a problem of too many priorities, poorly communicated. If a team receives the message that there are several different priorities, then it can lead to team members placing self-identified priorities over priorities that are actually more important to the project outcomes.

 

The top priority must be clearly identified. If you state that both cutting costs and user satisfaction are top priorities, then every time an individual has to make a decision, it will be made on their self-identified highest priority. To work as a cohesive team, every member must know which to prioritise with every single decision they make.

 

It’s also important to accept that priorities can and do change – often as a result of new issues identified by team members. Therefore, teams need a system that allows team members to communicate easily so that they can log updates, new information, or factors that may lead to a priority shift for the whole team.

 

Approach to risk will influence priorities 

 

Within any project, the leader’s approach to risk will influence the way that priorities are set. More risk-averse leadership generally means that there will be a “spread” of priorities, creating more, and less ambitious, goals and outcomes for the project. Less risk-averse leadership will have fewer priorities, but they will often be more focused and more ambitious.

 

Neither approach is wrong, but they will affect how your project is managed and completed. As we’ve already mentioned, if there are multiple priorities, then they need to be managed carefully to ensure a cohesive approach. Most importantly, there needs to be a clearly identified top priority, to guide individual decisions and help team members prioritise important tasks. Having a spread of priorities also means ensuring that all priorities are compatible – otherwise, team members are at risk of working against each other by focusing on competing priorities.

 

The hierarchy of purpose within an organisation 

 

Understanding an organisation’s hierarchy of purpose is key to understanding what factors should influence priorities. Defining the overreaching purpose of the organisation, and the strategic vision supporting that purpose, is key to setting all future priorities for the organisation, and for individual projects that the organisation implements.

 

The hierarchy of purpose is also key to eliminating priorities. If a current priority does not serve that purpose or support that vision, then it is time to make a tough choice and abandon that priority. It’s also vital to do this with individual projects. Every outcome that a project team is working towards should be aligned with the organisation’s purpose and vision.

 

Managing  priorities  within the project management team 

 

There are a few best practices to follow when managing project priorities.

 

  • Brief the entire team on project outcomes and priorities.
  • Build the organisational and project priorities into the project schedule.
  • Ensure that every team member can easily access the project schedule.
  • Use a collaborative system that allows instant updates on completed or shelved tasks.
  • Create a project backlog system, and identify tasks that are progressing well.
  • Predict and communicate incoming priority shifts.
  • Consistently keep team members focused on important tasks.

 

Much of the above can be done with good project management software. The right software can allow the project schedule to be accessed, viewed and updated by every team member. Immediate communication of when a task is completed, shelved or down-prioritised, along with a clear picture of which tasks are falling behind schedule and which are ahead of schedule, can have a major impact on managing team priorities.

 

To see what Verto can do to improve your project management techniques, register for our free trial!


Scheduling: make sure that your schedule stands up to scrutiny

 

Scheduling has a big impact on project management. Done well, it is the magic formula that gently guides a project to completion. Done badly, it can become the dirty little secret of project management. Let’s look at what makes the difference. 

 

What is scheduling? 

 

When it comes to project management, scheduling is about more than putting tasks on a calendar. Scheduling is, arguably, where the magic happens. Project scheduling involves creating a system to communicate not only the tasks that need to get done, but also the resources that will be needed to complete them and the timeframe allocated to them. A project schedule holds pretty much all the information needed to deliver the entire project successfully and on time.

 

When does scheduling happen in the project life cycle?

 

In layman’s terms, planning and scheduling are similar concepts, but when it comes to project management, you won’t be scheduling until after the planning phase is complete. This is because planning is about looking at the big picture and defining fundamentals. Planning looks at the real problem that needs solving, identifies the stakeholders, and defines objectives. Planning also determines what resources will be needed and what major tasks need to be done. However, we’re talking broad scope here. There is no fine detail at this stage.

 

Scheduling starts once you enter the second stage of the project life cycle. This is the build-up phase, and it’s where you start getting into the real nitty-gritty details of managing your project. Most projects will come with a predefined start date and deadline, and the schedule is what defines everything that happens in between.

 

Scheduling tends to involve working backwards. You take the end deadline, and any other hard deadlines, and work out when your deliverables need to be ready.  You then schedule in the details, looking at the tasks to be completed, the resources needed, and the team members involved. Creating the project schedule accurately is vital to the success of the project, which is why it has to wait until the build-up phase. Try to schedule a project while it’s still at the big-picture, planning stage and you won’t have enough information. There’s nothing vague about project schedules. There needs to be a lot of attention to detail.

 

The challenges of scheduling

 

Scheduling can be one of the most challenging aspects of project management. As mentioned, it’s a fine-detail process, but some types of project have a lot more variables than others. If you’re working on a project that has a lot of “unknowns” to deal with, then schedule management can become one of the most challenging parts of the entire project.

 

If you are managing a building or engineering project, then it’s likely that you’ll have complete specifications up front. With less tangible projects, such as a media campaign or a change management project, there will be a lot more variables to factor in. This means that with some projects, you can use proven, easily replicated techniques to calculate detailed timeframes and accurate resource allocation. With other projects, it’s a case of starting out with rough estimates, and constantly refining details as you progress and more information about the project emerges. Either way, project scheduling is never a case of “set it and forget it”. Active schedule management is required throughout the project life cycle.

 

Why the schedule can be the dirty little secret of project management 

 

If the schedule is this important, then it must be highly reliable, right? You must be able to look at it at any point in the project and immediately see where you are, what you’ve achieved, and whether you’ll be finishing on time and according to the resource allocation you originally scheduled, right? Wrong. That’s not always the case. At least not with all projects. There’s a dirty little secret that some project managers will acknowledge.

 

Some project managers will tell you that the schedule is irrelevant. They’ll cite the challenges already mentioned: there are so many unknowns, so many variables. We make the schedule, but we don’t expect to stick to it. The project will be finished when it’s finished. Scheduling doesn’t work, except when it does.

 

Scheduling does work. It works like a dream for some project managers, but not for others. Why is this? How come scheduling works perfectly on some projects, but not on every one? The key, as is often the case in project management, is in the systems. Scheduling only works if you can accurately track those important variables, update accordingly, keep your entire team informed, adjust everything else to fit with your new information, and communicate those adjustments to your stakeholders.

 

All this may sound like a big ask, but what it actually boils down to is the right system. Good project management software can provide an all-in-one solution to integrate all of the above and ensure that the schedule is managed and updated to give you a consistently clear picture of exactly where you are, and how far you have to go.

 

Key tips for effective scheduling 

 

There are several ways that you can ensure that your schedule guides your project safely to completion.

 

  • Start the scheduling process after the planning phase is complete.
  • Understand exactly what the deliverables are.
  • Build the schedule around deliverables, not tasks.
  • Work backwards from those hard deadlines.
  • Break down big deliverables to the lowest estimable deliverable (work packages).
  • Make work packages as small as possible for accurate time estimations.
  • Use milestones as targets and at regular intervals.
  • Keep track of team members’ availability.
  • Don’t assign everyone on the team a 100% workload.

 

An effective schedule needs to be flexible and responsive, regardless of the type of project. There will always be variables, and the only way to plan for that is to have a solid system in place to track those variables and respond quickly when needed.

 

To see what Verto can do to help you manage your project schedules, contact us for a demo!


Our five golden rules for a successful meeting

Our five golden rules for a successful meeting

 

In our post on 9th March, we looked at the top five skills all project managers should have. Number five on our list was being able to manage meetings. Because well-run meetings are such a vital part of a project’s success, we said we’d look at them again in a future post.

So today, we’re going to look at how you can make sure your meetings are a success.

The professional meeting goer

Many of us go to so many meetings it can seem like that’s all our job is. An endless round of agendas, minutes, background papers, reports, coffee, biscuits and hoping you’ll be able to park.

Will your morning meeting be over in time so you can go back to your office before your afternoon meeting? How many of the people who were in your last meeting will be in your next meeting? How many people do you only ever meet in meetings?

What are all these meetings for?

But, however much we may moan about them, we do need meetings. They’re a key part of how we share information, make decisions and keep a project moving forward.

Meetings can also be the only time different people involved in a project get to see each other. So they can be an important way to keep partners connected and involved.

How to make sure people come to your meetings

When people are confident that your meetings are relevant, useful, well run and overall a good use of their time, they’ll come to them. And, perhaps more importantly, they’ll keep coming.

This is key, because consistent commitment and participation from the right people is one of the things that will help your projects succeed.

So take a look at our golden rules for how to run a successful meeting. They’ll help your meetings succeed and, as a result, help your projects succeed too.

 

Our five golden rules for successful meetings

 

 1. Make sure you invite the right people

Only invite people who are involved in the business of the meeting, can contribute to it and make decisions - or who have a direct link to those who can. This is particularly important with public sector organizations where the decision-making process can have several layers and be complex.

Generally, for a meeting to be effective no more than 12 people should be part of the core group. However, from time to time you may also want to invite people who you need to hear from or who need to hear what you’re discussing.

 

2. Plan the meeting carefully

When you’re putting the agenda together make sure you stay focused on a clear outcome (or outcomes, but not too many – see point about timing below). Think about what the meeting needs to decide, discuss and hear about now. If something doesn’t require immediate action or isn’t clearly relevant, leave it for a later date or don’t include it at all.

Show whether each agenda item is for decision, information or discussion. As people are usually more lively and creative at the start of a meeting, put items that need mental energy and clear heads at the top of the agenda. However, it can also be helpful to put items of significant interest and concern further down the agenda. This can help people get over the natural attention lag that happens about 20 minutes in to a meeting.

It’s also worth thinking about the impact agenda items will have on the group. Some will bring people together while others can create a divide. The order in which you include these items will make a difference to the whole atmosphere of the meeting. For example, it is worth ending the meeting with an item that creates consensus so that people leave on a positive note.

 

3. Time the meeting carefully

Set a time for your meeting and stick to it. And try not to let it last longer than two hours. Meetings that go on too long become less effective.

Include the start and end time on the agenda as well as the timing for each agenda item. This will help keep people focused and prevent the meeting from overrunning.

We all hate lengthy meetings that go on and on so doing this will help people look at your meetings in a positive way and encourage them to attend regularly.

 

4. Set the right tone

You, or the chair, need to set the tone for the meeting from the start. Make sure it’s purposeful, focused and energetic. However, you also want people to feel comfortable and able to contribute so make a conscious effort to include everyone and allow some time for a more easy-going approach.

The right tone also relates to what happens outside of the meeting. So make it clear you expect people to prepare, to turn up on time, to participate and to carry out actions they commit to.

 

5. Follow-up the meeting properly

Once you’ve held your meeting send the minutes to everyone promptly, preferably within a week. Include the actions you agreed on and the names of the people who will carry them out.

Minutes also help people who weren’t at the meeting catch up on what was discussed and agreed. If necessary, get in touch with them in person to share what happened and discuss any particular issues with them. This will show they were missed and encourage them to stay committed to the work of the group and attend next time.

Well-run meetings are particularly useful when you’re managing multi-agency projects. They can bring people together who otherwise wouldn’t meet. They can help to define the partnership. And they can help people to understand both their collective aim and the way in which they and others can contribute to and influence this.

 

To find out more about how Verto can make your project management easier please call us on 0844 870 8785 or message us here.

How we can help you help your clients

Verto is widely used across both the private and public sectors.

For example, our clients include Capita PLC, Northgate Vehicle Leasing, NHS and councils across the country.

Many of our private sector clients also work with public sector organisations, helping them build shared services, deliver change and realize challenging efficiency savings.

Even when several organisations from different sectors are involved, Verto’s tools make it easy for them to work together. Because with Verto, everyone can work on the same platform and communicate with each other quickly and easily.

Here are some examples of how we’re helping our clients and what they have to say about us.

 

Capita

Capita uses technology to create and deliver smarter process management and professional support services across the public and private sectors.

They say:

“I have been working with the Verto team for the last 18 months and in that time we have built an excellent working relationship. The reason for this is that not only is VERTO an excellent PPM tool, but what makes the product stand out is the team behind it for their responsiveness, help, support and ability to go the extra mile in both promoting and delivering the tool to clients. The VERTO team understand real problems and issues and how to resolve them in a fit for purpose way and do so in a friendly and open manner that is very refreshing.”

 

Onesource

Onesource provides shared back office support services for local government and other public services. They use Verto to support their project and programme management.

They say:

We have found Verto to be very flexible, especially when embedding our corporate methodology and workflow into a cloud-based application. [It] has enabled better collaborative ways of working and greater transparency in all aspects of project management and expenditure. Furthermore, TMI [Verto] has consistently provided an excellent customer service and [been] willing to support us at all times. We’ve enjoyed working with TMI to achieve our corporate PMO application requirements.”

 

Denbighshire Council

The support from TMI Systems from day one has been outstanding, they are always willing to listen to new ideas and respond to all system enquiries almost by return.

 

Wolverhampton City Council

The support provided by TMI Systems has been brilliant to get the system up and running. The system enables us to have a cross directorate view of the projects and programmes currently being managed within the Council.

 

To find out more about how Verto can help you and your clients please call us on 0844 870 8785 or message us here.