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Establish Your First (Next) Project Check-In Call


The purpose of this article is to introduce a simple recommended approach to keeping your project on track.  It involves using recurring check-in calls (or meetings) as a simple structure to manage progress.

This article is intended for the project manager of any CIMcloud project.

Video Overview

Note: the presentation slides used in the above video can be downloaded in the Attachments section at the bottom of this article.

Your Immediate Task

It’s simple.  Book your first (or next) check-in meeting.

Now that you have created your project plan, we recommend that you create a cadence of accountability check-in calls with the appropriate team members.  It starts with booking your next call, which we recommend you do as soon as possible.

The Recurring Check-in Call (Meeting)

The recurring check-in call (or meeting) is a simple and powerful project management tool to help you keep your people (project team members) accountable and your work on track.  The purpose of the check-in call is to quickly get status updates (what has been completed, in progress, not start yet), identify and address issues, get alignment on what is being worked on next, and better understand the scope, timeline, and budget risks that may come into play on your project.

Recurring calls can be as frequent as several times per week or as infrequent as once per month (less than once per month is generally a red flag that your project has stalled).  A typical check-in call schedule is once every 2 weeks on the front end of the project and weekly (ore multiple per week) as you close in on going live.

Fast check-in calls can take < 15 minutes.  Long check-in calls (if you have lots of issues to discuss) should take about an hour.

Running a Successful Check-in Call (Meeting)

As the project manager, you are typically the person responsible for organizing and running regular check-in / status reporting calls.

The following includes a simple set of recommendations when planning and running check-in (status reporting) meetings for your project.

  • Be Prepared
  • Start and End The Meeting on Time
  • Get The Appropriate People On the Call (At the Meeting)
    • This may be all or just some of your project team, depending on where you are in the project
    • Be smart about how and when you use subcontractors that are billing you for their time
  • Have An Agenda
    • Get status updates from all team members on their tasks (particularly items due by this meeting)
      • What have they done since the last meeting
      • What are they doing next
      • What are they stuck on / what issues do they have?
    • Discuss and resolve issues (unknowns, risks, problems, questions, blockers, etc), including
      • Solving things on the spot
      • Identifying tasks that need to get added to the project task list (add them & assign to a person)
      • Parking things that can be deferred until later (a potential future phase)
      • Identifying break-out discussions that need to happen (schedule them)
        • These will lead to one of the three outcomes above (solved, task, parked)
    • Confirm the items that will be done by the next check-in call
    • Book the next check-in call
    • Send an email confirm with items to be completed / reported on by the next call
  • Between Meetings
    • Continue work on the project
    • Collect and update the issues list, addressing urgent ones with break-out calls or meetings
    • Collect and update the task list
    • Use the last’s calls confirmation email + the updated task and issues list as the agenda for the next call
    • Report issues / risks to business stakeholders (anything that materially puts the scope, timeline, or budget at risk)

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