I hear you thinking: “my calendar is already fully booked, if I need to add a regular core project team meeting in my busy schedule, I’m going nuts. Why not only meet when there is an issue?”.
And here is the truth…. you’ll prevent going nuts, feeling stressed or overwhelmed if you align with your core project team on a regular basis. That’s why core project team meetings are a must.
By checking in on the status of your new product development on a weekly basis, you’re more in controlbecause you’re on top of things and can quickly intervene when things are moving in the wrong direction. Your team members can more easily indicate if their deliverables seem to go off track and endanger the project budget or timeline.
Adjusting this detour and taking corrective action can be done much faster, instead of needing to do a lot of firefighting
By meeting with your core project team on a weekly basis, you’ll be more in control which gives you peace of mind, even if this weekly meeting takes up thirty minutes or one hour per week in your busy schedule. It’s worth it!
There are a few more habits that will improve your life in managing new product development activities and take your project meetings to the next level.
I’ve three tips for you to use in managing your project meetings.
Here they come!
Tip number one: always make meeting minutes: define actions, allocate who is responsible and set a deadline.
This prevents that everyone walks away from the meeting, continues with their daily tasks, and completely forget the action points from your meeting. By creating meeting minutes and sending them right after the meeting or storing them on a shared drive, accessible for everyone, it’s more likely that the open actions are picked up.
What also helps is sending reminders to the responsible team members a few days before the deadline, to make sure that during the core project team this specific action can be closed. Otherwise, you keep on moving a certain action every week to the next week and this is frustrating and harmful to your project.
Another crucial addition to this is to register the status of the actions every week in your meeting document. For example, if an open action cannot be closed. Discuss the reasons behind this, align on what corrective action to take and note this down in your minutes. Also put the date that this is discussed. It allows you to easily go back and check what has been decided and when.
You can use a Google doc, Word or Excel to capture your minutes.
Tip number two: Create a detailed project planning for your new product development and discuss this planning in your core project team meeting.
By making a detailed planning of all the activities needed from product idea, through definition, development, manufacturing, and introduction, you’ll be able to micromanage your project and be fully in control.
You’ll not be surprised by actions or deliverables that are overlooked and cause cost increase and delay further down the road. They are all included in your planning and you’ve allocated time for them to be handled.
Even include shipment time of product samples, especially when they have to come from far. This can easily take up one week or more if Customs is involved. Paperwork can take a lot of time if you’re unlucky.
Tip number three: create a separate project checklist of all the actions that are included in your planning.
You’ll be able to tick these actions off when they are completed, and you and your team can focus on the remaining open points.
By creating this checklist, you’ll have overview all the time and do not feel overwhelmed.
To be clear, this is not your action list from your meeting minutes, that’s a separate document.
This project checklist is a detailed list and includes all your product development activities.
- check financial feasibility
- sign quality contract with supplier
- define sample planning
- create product specifications
- define features and benefits.
In your core project team meeting you’ll go through the minutes, add status information and define new actions. You can easily go through the project checklist as well with your team and check off the actions that are completed. With your project planning at your fingertips, you know when deliverables need to be finalized and you can micromanage your entire project.
Product development doesn’t need to be complicated.
Let me show you how you can transform your new product idea into a thriving business.
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