"Moving right along," said Dan, looking at the transparency. "Program Management is me, and I also have three basic things on my plate during the Developing Phase: project tracking, team communication and coordination, and beta planning." Leaning on the conference table, he looked around the group. "Folks, I need some feedback here. I decided to change to one-on-one meetings with each of you instead of team meetings during the Developing Phase, with only a weekly team meeting to allow us to check our work. I was hoping that the one-on-one meetings would be more efficient and more effective, since I could focus exclusively on what one person was doing and not waste the time of the other team members.
"I've been meeting with each of you for a week, now, and I need to know if you have found it helpful. Do you prefer this change, or would you rather go back to always meeting as a group?"
Because no one wanted to be the first to respond, the group fell silent. Finally, Marta said, "I can't speak for the others, but I prefer the one-on-one meetings." Others in the room nodded in agreement as Marta continued. "I felt that the two meetings you and I had last week were very productive. I came out of them knowing much more clearly what you wanted out of my role on the team, and yet we took less time than the team meetings would have. I think it was a good change."
"I think I know why the one-on-one meetings work now, but wouldn't have worked earlier," Marilou said "When we were doing the Envisioning and the Planning Phases, we needed to be together to build a common vision and a common plan. We needed to hear each other's viewpoints, to make tradeoffs, to stir one another's creativity. We also needed to build a team spirit." She paused a moment, then continued. "Now that we're in the 'building' part of the project, we each have our own tasks. We don't necessarily need to be together to do this work. But we need to maintain that team spirit, and we need to affirm one another as we each slog through the work ahead. I think that the balance of one-on-one meetings and a weekly team meeting is just what we need during this phase of the project."
"Well-said," Bill agreed, without looking up from the table.
Tim added, "Your e-mail updates are also a good idea, since we aren't meeting together as much." He grinned. "It's a shame you can't send doughnuts through e-mail, though."
Dan smiled. "Next time I get a mailing from Microsoft, I'll see if that feature is scheduled for any future releases of Exchange."