A meeting agenda aims at ensuring a meeting runs smoothly with every member on board being aware of the day’s program before the actual date of the meeting. The agenda therefore aims at preparing members for the actual meeting. Every member gets to know what is required of them and are therefore able to get the required information before hand ready for the meeting. In this, time management is upheld. For example: a meeting agenda for a company will require reports from all the departments. If the meeting is on financials, the different department heads will be equipped with their statements and balance sheets ready for the meeting rather than having to excuse yourself in the middle of the meeting to go try and compile your reports at the time that the meeting is going on.
In terms of time management, the flow of activities if subsequent. Every member in the meeting knows what is expected after the first order of business. Time is not wasted in an effort to try and keep all the members posted on every order of the day. For example: you must have heard on several occasions where a member denies getting a memo for a certain aspect. With a meeting agenda, they would have tried to get the memo beforehand. This will prevent meeting delays and/or postponing of meetings.
With the right meeting agenda, the meeting is bound to be on time and it remains focused ensuring that the set objectives are met and therefore transforming your meeting into a successful and productive use of all members time.
What to Include in a Professional Meeting Agenda
A professional meeting agenda template will address some key aspects that are a must for it to be complete and deliver results. These include:
1. Content and attendees
The content provides the topic of discussion. This refers to all the fields that require addressing in the given meeting. The amount of content will also determine how long the meeting will take place. As part of the content, the participants matter a great deal. You must ensure that depending on the topic of discussion, the relevant personnel is a part of the meeting. These two go hand in hand. For example: if you will require a report on sales, then the sales and marketing manager must be included in the agenda for the next meeting indicating that he is required to provide a sales report.
2. Time projections
Time projections act as a guide to ensure that all tasks are discussed within the time limit provided so that every aspect is taken care of before members run out of time. This takes into account that professionals work under certain time constraints and they need to set SMART goals which are time bound. Every task should be allocated time in the agenda and the whole meeting should also be provided so that the members can plan appropriately.
3. Delegation criteria
Every professional meeting agenda should highlight who is to handle what during the meeting. This not only spreads the wings of leadership but also ensures that members feel like they are part of the decision making process as a team. For example: every task has an expert who can address it. Allow the experts address their field. The account addresses the financials while a marketer can address marketing strategies.
4. New concerns
During meetings, there may arise some new concerns to be addressed. These should not be addressed at the given meeting but should be placed for the next meeting. The current meeting has strict guidelines to be followed.
There are different kinds of agenda meetings and though they may have similar characteristics, they are defines differently by their purpose.
- Informal meeting agendas. They are not strict on how it should be written down. Those attending may not be necessarily limited to those who are on the list of guests.
- Formal meeting agendas. Every aspect of writing this agenda must be as guided and to the point. Everything is in detail and follows a given criteria. They are normally problem solving agendas. The participants are normally a few who directly relate to the issue at hand.
- Conference meeting agenda. This agenda comprises of persons of greater numbers. For example: in meetings where the press is required, they will not exactly lock out some media houses. The meeting goes on even with people who were not expected to be present.
- All day meeting agendas. These meeting agendas are long term. They address different content n persons involved may change during the meeting. Its content is more of an open forum and the discussions are switched at will.
- Project meeting agendas. These agendas address aspects that will help achieve a certain completion of a given project. Every content included is about fulfilling the goals of a given project.
Tips and Recommendations on Proper Meeting Agendas
- Confirm with members you expect to include in the agenda on their attendance.
- Ensure that the agenda gets to every member before the set date for the meeting with enough time to prepare for the meeting.
- Do not include any new tasks after the agenda is already released to members.
- Ensure that you check for errors before releasing the agenda to avoid improper planning.
Any questions, concerns or suggestions are free to be indicated in the comment area as indicated. Feedback would also be appreciated.