IT professionals often have to run meetings and this will involve issuing an agenda and recording actions that have been agreed in a set of minutes. For one of meetings the agenda and the minutes will usually be separate documents. For recurring meetings, for example a monthly help desk review or product review meeting it is more efficient to combine the agenda and the minutes into one simple document.
This is what I consider to be a best practice integrated agenda / minutes template for most small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). You can download a word version of this integrated minutes & agenda template by clicking here.
The key points in the template are:
1. The header should include your company branding / product logo etc. To the right of this include the description and date of the meeting.
2. If your company operates over multiple sites then you should record the location of the meeting.
3. Include a list of the people who attended the previous meeting and those who sent their apologies for not attending.
4. The agenda should be broken down into the major sections / topics for your meeting. Under these headings you should then include the individual discussion points and any follow-up actions (tasks/ work) that were agreed. Every action must be assigned to a person and there should be a target delivery date. Don’t fall into the trap of having everyone at the meeting agree that something is a good idea but not agreeing who should do it and when. If that happens then it’s valid to record it as an action to be carried forward to the next meeting for further discussion.
5. The last items on the agenda should always be AOB (Any other business). This is where people can raise things that were not on the agenda.
6. Under the minutes it’s then good to at the end of the meeting agree the date and time of the next meeting. When the minutes are sent you should include at the bottom the confirmed date and time of the next meeting and details of where it will be held.
7. I also recommend including a note that people should table any items for the agenda to the chair no later than 14 days (for example) before the meeting so that the final minutes / agenda can be sent out for the next meeting.
If you are responsible for producing the minutes / agenda it is essential that you retain copies of these for at least a couple of years. Depending on the project and size of your company it’s not unusual for auditors to want to see that projects and meetings are being run properly. Your minutes may need to be produced as evidence that a good process has been followed. Just because your auditors didn’t ask to see any meeting minutes last year don’t assume they won’t in the future – be prepared.
Good luck with this, it’s worked well for me over a number of years. If you have any questions or suggestions for improving this template do please get in touch by leaving a comment below. I’d love to get some good suggestions so that I can create an even better version of this document template to share with you.