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SIMPLE FORM for Meeting Notes and Action Items

SIMPLE FORM FOR MEETING NOTES AND ACTION ITEMS

There are many resources available for conducting effective meetings.  This SIMPLE FORM is specific to the written communication that is required to facilitate an effective meeting and to track progress towards the due date of action items.  Use of this SIMPLE FORM will also provide the sponsors and management team clear and concise information on discussion topics, action item status and where their assistance may be needed to resolve open issues or action items that are not on track.

Launch the SIMLPLE FORM HERE – SIMPLE FORM for Meeting Notes and Action Items

HEADER – Enter Meeting Name, Organizer, Date and Time.  The key information is what, who and when.  It is recommended that you record a scheduled start and end time for the meeting.  And for those meetings scheduled across multiple time zones, include the primary time zone used to schedule the start time.

The next few sections of the SIMPLE FORM communicate information that may be needed by participants prior to the meeting.  Sections include the following:

NOTE TAKER – A decision on note taking may be made prior to the start of the meeting.  The note taker is usually the Meeting Organizer or Project Lead.  The NOTE TAKER will be responsible for completing and distributing the SIMPLE FORM.

TIMEKEEPER – A decision on the timekeeper may be made at the start of the meeting if no team member is assigned this task.  Many teams will rotate the timekeeper assignment.  The TIMEKEEPER is often relied upon to keep the meeting on track and to ensure the meeting begins and ends on time.

MEETING LOCATION – Include enough detail for participants to locate the meeting room.  If you are using dial-in or web-x resources, include the instructions in this section.

MEETING PURPOSE – It is critical to well position the purpose of the meeting.  With today’s jam packed schedules, it is no longer common for REQUIRED ATTENDEES to participate in every meeting they are summoned to attend.  People will use the information you provide to make a decision about the importance of their attendance at your meeting.

Pre-Meeting, Meeting and Post-Meeting CHECKLIST – Use the check boxes as a reminder of those critical actions needed in each of the stages of meeting preparation and communication.

REQUIRED ATTENDEES AND DISTRIBUTION LIST – Two lists of names are recommended for most meetings. 

  • The REQUIRED ATTENDEES list includes all persons consider required to meet the objectives of the meeting.  These usually include those persons on the project team.  Use the check box to record meeting attendance.  This will be useful if there are questions in the future. 
  • The DISTRIBUTION LIST includes those people in addition to the REQUIRED ATTENDEES that may have interest in the meeting.  This list often includes the project sponsor and managers of the REQUIRED ATTENDEES.

AGENDA –Be concise and to the point on each agenda item.  The information you provide will be used along with your MEETING PURPOSE statement to provide meeting attendees the information they need to prepare for the meeting.  Keep in mind, REQUIRED ATTENDEES will also use the agenda to help them prioritize their time in choosing which meetings they attend. 

  • Always leave some time at the end of the agenda for general discussion.  During this time you may ask participants to volunteer their thoughts on the success of the meeting or improvements they feel are needed. 
  • Be sure to get agreement on action items, what, who and by when as example. 
  • Close the meeting by agreeing on a date, time and location for the next meeting.

ATTACHMENTS – Use this section to attach electronic files of any supporting documents that may be used during the meeting or those that are needed for follow up after the meeting.

DISCUSSION TOPICS – Record minutes of key discussion topics.  These will be useful for future reference in case a question or problem arises.  The discussion topics should be focused on the original agenda provided for the meeting.

ISSUES IDENTIFIED – Use this section to record any “ah ha” moments uncovered during the meeting.  Be sure to record any agreements made to further investigate or resolve the issue.

ACTION ITEMS – This section will be used by the team and management for tracking status.  Provide enough detail in the action item column so the reader can understand the requirement of the task.  Action items should always include the next meeting reminder and a due date on distribution of the meeting notes and action items (the completed SIMPLE FORM). 

  • In the assigned to column, agree during the meeting who will be the primary owner of the action item.  If it is a team, list all persons responsible.  Keep in mind; it is always best to have a primary owner.   
  • In the Due date column, use the calendar to record the drop dead due date for the action item. 
  • In the Status column, use the drop down list to communicate how each action item is tracking to its due date listed in the prior column. 
  • The comments column may be used to keep brief, historical notes on the action item or to communicate other relevant information about the action item.

Use of this SIMPLE FORM will help ensure you have the right people attending your meetings and that the participants come prepared.  A systematic process will also help keep your meeting on track and ensure actionable items are identified with owners and due dates assigned.   You now have a solid method to keep track of discussion points, issues that may need additional attention and an actionable list of items to keep the project on track.   You will be recognized for your ability to facilitate productive and efficient meetings. 

SIMPLE FORM for Meeting Notes and Action Items

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