Great Meeting Minutes Save Months!
Recording the minutes from meetings is usually taken lightly — Here’s what you risk!
What is recorded, assigned and followed-up, gets done!
In 2018, I drove the Digital Transformation for a Leading Lifestyle brand.
9 Organizations, 20+ teams, 400+ people and a project plan with 12000+ lines! — the project was huge and was easily one the biggest business transformations happening in India.
So, when our weekly meetings happened, we had representatives from each of the teams and organizations (50+ members including the CXO folks). I used to take up the Planned milestones, perform an actual vs planned comparison and solicit inputs. Dependencies, assumptions, queries and actions used to fly in from all quarters!
Minutes were my tool for keeping the massive program on course.
People were provided a single version of the progress and were kept apprised of the actions expected, by when and how their parts are fitting into the bigger jigsaw puzzle. All dependencies were clearly lineated and communication lines established for effective hand-overs. It had a to be a well-orchestrated act with everyone participating and doing their parts well.
Meeting Minutes are important for driving any successful program. A tool to enable and ensure progress across organizations and teams.
Creating action boards, tasks lists, real-time progress indicators and dependency matrices to accompany the minutes enabled proper follow-through and closure on the important points. You get in touch and get to interact with hundreds of individuals, gently guiding and driving massive transformations effectively!
A good minutes contain the following:
- Meeting Date and Time
- Attendees (Present & Absent)
- Discussion Agenda & Objectives
- Actual Discussions
- Actions (WITH DATES & ACTOR)
- RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues & Dependencies)
- Decisions made [most important!]
- Enable common understanding of the decisions and expectations
- Enable progress towards common goals
- Enable understanding of dependencies and needed actions
- Provide a foundation for reporting progress in the next discussion
- and importantly, bring everyone together!
Great minutes save months!
Summarising a 60 minute meeting into a minute’s read is an art. You would have to cover all the major points, the nuances, the actions and the decisions clearly. One of my customer bosses in the UK taught me to make notes and I have been an expert minutes-taker ever since! We make the mistake of delegating this to the youngest one in the room — big mistake!
The minutes guy is the most powerful one in the room — he can pull-up anyone, right from the CEO to the trainee in follow-up/successive meetings and has the most comprehensive understanding of the details as well as the overall picture!
And yes — make sure the minutes go out within an hour of the meeting completion: Really makes a difference!