Generating Value by Using Agenda and Minutes
Agenda and minutes are foundational to successful management and governance of a project lifecycle. While agenda and minutes contribute to the success of project execution, they are very useful for all team-led endeavors in business. Paul Axtell, author of Meetings Matter, stated, “Meetings are at the heart of an effective organization, and each meeting is an opportunity to clarify issues, set new directions, sharpen focus, create alignment, and move objectives forward.”
Agenda and minutes are appropriate and useful any time a group of people comes together to discuss, plan, and decide on topics and outcomes.
Benefits of an agenda and minutes include:
Provide a collaborative team environment
Provide an approach to document and monitor meeting assignments
Increase focus and attention on actions and decisions resulting from meetings
Save cost and time by adding structure and discipline to meeting management
Provide a consistent approach for efficiently and effectively managing meeting inputs and outputs
Agenda and Minutes Process:
Determine the meeting logistics
Subject, objective, location, call-in number, date, chairperson, recorder, and invitees
Inputs to an agenda may include previous minutes, project charter, project schedule, stakeholder management plan, procurement management plan, risk management plan, issue management plan, quality management plan, change control plan, data collection plan, lessons-learned plan, continuous improvement initiative, etc.
Determine meeting topics
Responsible, start, duration, and desired results
Distribute the agenda in advance of the meeting to allow invitees review and preparation time
Conduct meeting based on agenda
Chairperson manages the agenda; recorder documents the minutes
Distribute minutes within 24 hours of the meeting
Responsible, action/decision, and due date
Utilize minutes for follow-up meetings and action status updates, as necessary
Agenda and minutes provide input to many other plans, activities, and undertakings during the project lifecycle. While your agenda and minutes template may vary slightly, it will likely contain many of the components found in the following example. This image depicts a basic agenda and minutes template, along with its elements.