How to chair a Steering Committee Meeting Presentation
Updated: Dec 30, 2018
One of the very important role of a project manager. It is not uncommon that a sizeable project to require a regular steering committee meeting to update the high level stakeholders on the status of the project. When done right, this could be an opportunity to promote your team on the progress they have made. More importantly however, I feel this is the chance to impress the steering committee members by showing them that you, as the project manager, are in control of the project.
Who is on the steering committee?
Usually, they are the advisory committee made up of high level stakeholders (including project sponsors) and SMEs who can provide guidance on project issues on the executive level such as budgetary control, company objectives, etc. The steering committee is expected to be a decision-making body with formal authority over the project and not just a group of stakeholders who need to be kept in the loop. On projects involving multiple departments or business functions, the steering committee should ideally have key representation from each of them.
How often do you hold a meeting with steering committee?
From my experience, typically once a month. In practise however, as the steering committee usually makes up of people from the top management (read 'big bosses'), it may be tough to get the availability of some of the key members in the steering committee and the meeting frequency could range between once in 1-2 months. In between the steering committee meetings, project managers would be kept busy with lots of weekly/bi-weekly project discussions with the working level teams. In some of my projects, I would also hold a bi-weekly mid-level management status meetings with the client to highlight any project level concerns/issues which needs to be addressed. Thus, during the steering committee meetings, I would have more good news to share, rather than alerting the steering committee on too many open issues relating to the projects.
Agenda for Steering Committee Meeting
Project progress update - Elaborate on the project status of the key milestones of the project
Key issues - Issues which need to bring to the attention of steering committee and to seek their opinion/decisions
Project schedule - Show the updated project schedule. Elaborate on where we are, the dates of completion of the key milestones, whether the project is on schedule, etc.
Showcase some of the key accomplishment of the project from the previous steering committee meeting til now - E.g. show a quick demo of the completed systems.
AOB - Any other matters which you would like to share or bring to the attention of the steering committee.
"What do you think?"
Let me know if you think there is any important/useful details I have missed in the above write up.