The Importance of Meeting Minutes
Whoever loves meetings put up your hand! (Can you hear the crickets chirping too?)
Yes, meetings are not always fun or our #1 choice of things to do throughout our work days however they are critical in passing along relevant information on or about our projects to our stakeholders. Well-organized and facilitated meetings should keep all stakeholders engaged throughout but that’s a topic for another post. I’m here today to talk about documenting great meeting minutes.
Tracking the Discussions
The entire purpose of a meeting is to exchange knowledge and ideas among the attendees, whether it’s a sales presentation, a project kickoff or even a sponsorship issue escalation call. There is always a sharing of information between attendees (that’s the whole purpose right?). It’s vital to track the discussions that occur at these meetings for the sole purpose to allow attendees (or those who were not in attendance) to read back and understand exactly what was discussed and decided at the meeting. People are busy and attend many meetings – it’s not uncommon to forget what was discussed and by having a detailed, written account of the discussions you will provide your organization with the ability to go back and accurately reflect on what exactly was the output of the meeting.
Documenting the Action Items
Almost every meeting has action items that are assigned to individuals. It’s crucial that the action items that are decided on are clear and concise. It’s also very important that each action item have someone named who is responsible for ensuring the completion of the action item along with an expected due date for when the action item will be completed.
Get Confirmation and/or Feedback
After documenting your meeting minutes it is imperative that everyone who attended the meeting have the opportunity to review the meeting minutes for accuracy and completeness. When publishing the meeting notes to the attendees and other relevant stakeholders, solicit feedback to make sure that everything has been captured accurately and that everyone has an opportunity to provide feedback or corrections.
Meetings cost organizations money. By accurately and effectively tracking meeting minutes you can ensure that your organization is extracting as much value as it can from the meeting. Having a catalog of the discussions and action items that can be quickly called up at subsequent meetings is what makes accurate meeting minutes a very valuable tool.
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