How to Build the Perfect Guest List for a Project Management Meeting

Just like you can have too many cooks in the kitchen, you can have too many attendees in the meeting. 

Sure, if you’re the one sending the invites, you don’t want anyone to feel left out. And you want to know you have your bases covered come meeting time. But, as the host and planner, you also have a responsibility to use everyone’s time wisely and run the most streamlined, efficient meeting possible.

That’s where our 10-step guide comes in: How to Plan a Meeting People Actually Want to Attend. We’ve already covered Step #1: Decide if you really need the meeting and Step #2: Plot your talking points and goals. Now it’s time to dive into Step #3: Invite the right people to attend.

To start, try to only invite people if they:

  • Will contribute to real-time decision-making or brainstorming in the meeting
  • Bring special expertise or information to the table
  • Will be responsible for taking actionable next steps based on the meeting outcomes

On the other hand, you can probably skip invitees if they:

  • Just need a status update on the project metrics and timeline
  • Can be looped in afterwards with a quick recap 
  • Won’t be expected to contribute to strategizing or decision-making

Also, not to name names, but you might want to keep an eye out for these usual suspects:

  • The Rambler — You remember; we met them in our last post. They may have good intentions, but don’t get them started trying to tell a “quick” story or make a point, otherwise they won’t stop!
  • The Interrupter — They always have something to say, and they have to say it right now. Sure, they may just be trying to help, but one ill-timed interjection can throw the whole meeting off track.
  • The Faux-Leader — No, they didn’t plan the meeting but they may as well have! Yes, some people are just natural leaders and ready to grab the reins, but it’s still important for them to know who’s running this thing and take a step back when they need to.

Even if any of these repeat offenders have to be invited, remember to distribute your talking points and goals ahead of time to set expectations and keep everyone on track.

As Dana Brownlee wrote for the Project Management Institute: “Only invite those team members truly necessary for the meeting — if you want to include other team members but they’re not required, designate them as optional attendees.”

And here’s an expert quote from meetings aficionado, Charlie, the Proggio office dog: “Definitely invite as many people as possible for maximum head rubs, belly scratches, and snacks. The more the merrier. There’s no such thing as too many, especially when there are crumbs to be dropped and treats to be handed out. OH! Did someone say ‘treats’?” 

Actually, scratch that. Charlie seems to have another motive in mind…

Getting back on track, to recap, here’s our actionable tip for Step #3: Less it more when it comes to meeting attendees. Avoid having too many cooks in the kitchen — and being derailed by side convos and tangents — by only inviting the necessary participants who need to be in the room (or the Zoom) to contribute and collaborate in real time.

So, ready to streamline your project management meetings with a platform that keeps everyone in the loop? Book a demo with Proggio.