An earlier question, Managing Without Meetings, was mainly focused on the number and frequency of internal team meetings. This question is about project board meetings that are scheduled to take place on a regular monthly basis, and therefore don't usually coincide with the end of stages.
This is not my project, but what I have observed is:
- The board members like the predictability and feeling of involvement that this gives them, but the meetings tend to be "talking shops" that don't achieve very much.
- The project is supposedly run using Prince 2, but is subject to a variety of "interpretations" of the methodology.
- The project executive will make decisions regarding issues and risks outside the planned meetings, and then present these decisions to the Board as a done deal - probably because the meeting schedules are not aligned to the needs of the project.
- There is an higher level Programme Board that meets monthly, so the project board meetings are aligned to it, to allow the Executive (who is a member of both boards) to report on project progress.
Given that fixed, regular meetings, scheduled months in advance, are a cultural aspect of working within parts of the UK public sector, should I advise the PM to accept that this is the way that things have to be, or should he try to persuade the project executive that there may be a better way?