I had a situation where I had to cancel all my meetings for a particular initiative because the sponsor moved to another project and all of a sudden no one showed up!
Frustrating, I had no choice after 4 consecutive no show meetings, to cancel all of the weekly meetings for the rest of the year. I could not commit my team to burning time sitting and waiting for people to attend.
What can you do?
1. Notify your boss of the issue the 1st time it happens
Be sure to create & distribute meeting notes with attendance and a
“meeting was cancelled due to lack of attendance” notation
2. Adjust schedules as needed and advise all of any deadlines at risk
3. Get clarity on priority – maybe its changed drastically from the original plan
4. Ensure upper management and related departments are aware
Cc invite additional stakeholders to the meetings
5. Send a final email to all advising of canceling the meetings and the current status and that you’ll be happy to resume when they are ready – put everyone on the cc that has an interest in the project
Lastly, understand you cannot care more about the project than the people who directly benefit from its completion. Often there are politics at play which you have no control over.
Remember, you often cannot do anything about someone else resources, motivation, or budget but you can stop your team from wasting time on a project where the participants have no intention of it being completed.