In the article How to prepare for a project steering committee, I provided some simple tips to help ensure that your project SteerCo goes well. This is a follow up to this providing some additional ideas that will help even further.
The ideas are not ground breaking (like most of the techniques that assist good project delivery). However, they are worth noting as, due to competing priorities, they are often sacrificed or forgotten. This is especially true for someone managing multiple change initiatives.
Schedule Prep Time
Most change professionals are very busy. A typical day involves many scheduled and, ad-hoc meetings.
Then there is the actual work that needs to be completed, usual as a result of actions from the meetings. This can mean that there is no spare time in the day.
This is not good as, despite best intentions, you do not have the time to properly prepare ahead of the project SteerCo. This can result in you not having time to collect your thoughts on the messages you wish / need to deliver or the outcomes you need to achieve.
This is easy to solve. Book the prep time into your schedule just as you would a meeting. Just determine what is the best time. Some people like it to be immediately before the project SteerCo, others hours or even days before. Just book what works for you.
Prepare Your Story
When you prepare the project SteerCo material, you need to be thinking about the story you want to tell.
What this means is you need to have a clear view on how you want to present the material so as to achieve the outcome that is required.
This does not mean you are trying to manipulate the story so that it deceives the audience. It might work once but if you are found out your credibility will be destroyed and future presentations will not be trusted.
What this means is thinking how best to present the information to help the audience understand and to make informed decisions. Senior stakeholders will be very grateful if you can make their job easier.
You should think about the story as you prepare the meeting pack. You then should make your notes on how you will present as part of the “prep time”.
Be Clear on Objectives
This is very important.
You can schedule prep time and you can prepare the story. However, if you are not clear on the objectives for the meeting – the outcomes you need, there is a good chance that you will prepare a story (approach) that will not achieve the outcomes.
Therefore, make sure you have spent some quality thinking time so that you are clear on your objectives for the project SteerCo,
The project SteerCo is an important part of project governance. It typically involves senior stakeholders and is an investment of their scarce time.
With this in mind, it is your duty as project / PMO manager to maximise the benefit from this investment.
Paying attention to the preparation by following the tips above will help you to achieve more from your project SteerCo’s.