Issue 6 of Shorter, Fewer and Better Meetings
The agenda is the structure and the content of the meeting.
There is no “perfect” agenda. An agenda’s extent and level of detail depends on the situation. Like all tools, it should be kept at a level that it will support your work - not create more work.
A good foundation is:
- About the meeting
- The group’s or forum’s name or function, if applicable
- Time, place
- Items treated
- Issue (If the issue or background is comprehensive, attach an annex with the full content)
- Expected results
- Decisions, actions etc.
Have a time for each item on the agenda. It’s not necessary to have the times explicitly on the agenda, but if you know it, you can tell if you are on time.
A good order it to put the most important items first. If key participants need to leave, or if the meeting drags on, it’s good to have prioritized items taken care of.
You can also use the principle of putting items concerning the most participants first, so people can drop out as the meeting progresses. That’s a good way to keep focus and respect people’s time.
Don’t make the agenda too detailed. It will make it harder to adjust, and even a small deviation can create lots of unnecessary rewrite work.
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Shorter, Fewer and Better Meetings
–Meeting? Again? Am I really going to sit through this hogwash once more? I’m assuming the same two people will take over the meeting, as always. Was there, by the way, something I should have done before the meeting? Yikes, now I’m getting nervous…
Does that feel familiar?
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