Thursday, 30 October 2008

Conference calling - Penny Pullen

The use of conference calling is increasing and is particularly pertinent to project management. Issues such as cost, stress, time, environmental impact and work life balance are driving the need for a reduction in face-to-face meetings. However the value of the teleconference remains untapped due to a number of issues including lack of engagement, the casual nature of the meeting and the overall effectiveness in helping projects progress.

It is important to understand when remote meetings are appropriate. Meetings which require brainstorming etc. probably should be face to face. Meetings where the teams have high levels of trust, high commitment, urgent issues to deal with or where there is likely to be a low levels of conflict are most suitable to the media.

Some question whether the technology is too limiting and that this is reducing the effectiveness of the approach? Video conferencing, although more media-rich, can also be expensive and restrictive, however some kind of visual stimulus is useful for greater engagement.

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