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Why You Should Bring Your Project Team Together in Person
What are the benefits of an in-person all-hands meeting?

In today’s world of online meetings and remote working, gathering a large project team together to review progress and share learnings seems quaint and old-fashioned. Not to mention expensive, especially for a whole off-site day plus an evening social event.

Every project we work on has deadlines that are somewhere between tight and impossible, right? So why risk losing all those irreplaceable workdays?

Well, at BeyondFS we recently brought together an entire team of around 40 people working across 16 workstreams on a complex change programme with our largest client, in an elegant wood panelled function room in central London.

This was an expensive exercise, but it more than proved its value and showed us something important: bringing your project team together for a whole day can be a game-changer.

What are the benefits of an in-person all-hands project team meeting?
What are the benefits of an in-person all-hands project team meeting?
The secret sauce for project success
This is where the
magic happens

To get us started, the programme’s leadership team set the scene and provided some initial momentum and motivation. After this, representatives from each sub-project and workstream summarised progress in their own areas, explaining what they had achieved, how they did it, what the benefits were, the key successes and challenges, the risks, issues and gaps that had come to light, and the main learning points.

We had a good idea that this was going to be useful, or we wouldn’t have done it, but let’s break down why these gatherings are so valuable.

Seeing the full picture

Imagine having all your team members, each of them an expert in at least one part of the project, together in one room. When you have everyone in the same place, sharing what they know, something magical happens. You get a full picture of what’s going on. You learn from each other and come up with smarter ways to do things.

Meeting in person builds trust and understanding. You can see how people work, how they interact with others, and more easily spot their strengths and weaknesses. This helps everyone work more smoothly and get the most from each other.

Finding gold in unexpected places

Think about your team’s successes. Could those wins be used in other parts of the project? Sometimes, we miss this because we’re not talking face-to-face. When you’re all together, you spot hidden opportunities. It’s like finding gold where you least expect it. This saves time and effort and leads to the whole team working more effectively.

Having everyone together can uncover hidden connections and opportunities to apply proven, successful techniques across more situations, for example process maps, control logs or stakeholder engagement styles. You may find that certain workstreams should have been co-operating but hadn’t known to do so. Better communication makes for a more joined-up project and better outcomes.

Seeing problems before they happen

In any project, there are risks and problems waiting to pop up. But when you’re talking through things together, you can catch these issues early. In a room full of experienced people, someone will have trodden your path before and will spot the signs that you’re about to run into trouble, or might know a better way to help you get where you need to be.

Supercharge learning for everyone

We all know how difficult it is to onboard new team members when working remotely. Well, an in-person meeting acts as a crash course where everyone can gain a broad understanding of a project’s context and how their work contributes to it. They can question the experts directly, and hear the answers to other people’s questions. This means your newbies become pros in no time.

Cooking up new ideas

Imagine you’re cooking, and you have different ingredients. When your team meets in person, it’s like tossing those ingredients together and creating something deliciously new.

Reorganising and recombining ideas is amongst the most powerful tools in creative thinking. And by adding the diversity of views you’ll get with a large group of people, you’ll supercharge your creativity many times over and come up with solutions you never dreamt of before.

More than just work

When you meet in person, it’s not just about work. You can catch up with old friends and make new ones. The social side of being in a team is priceless, and there’s no virtual substitute for a real-world night out. Getting together helps to create camaraderie and belonging, boosting morale and motivation. This makes your team stronger – and everyone in it.

The bottom line

As our recent ‘away day’ showed us, getting your team together in person can be worth much more than the cost.

You get more than just talk—you get action. You get better ways to work, solve problems before they mess things up, and make your team bond like never before.

So, if you’re in charge of a project team, think about giving this a shot. It might just be the secret sauce your team needs to shine.

Let's make change happen.

We help Financial Institutions accelerate digital transformation – delivering improved efficiencies, better risk controls and enhanced customer experiences.