Rather than eliminate the project status reports, why not
just limit them to 5 minutes each. And hold the presenters
to the time limit!
If the meeting starts promptly at 8:30 and with 5 minutes
allocated to the next meetings and a 1/2 hour break, there
should be 2 and 1/2 hours to discuss future projects.
(I volunteer to be the time keeper for the 5 minute limit.)
Hitachi Koki Imaging Solutions