All You Need to Know About Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes are necessary for accountability and follow-through during employee and client meetings.  It is an especially important document to ensure that what needs to be addressed is discussed and those items for resolution are immediately acted upon within the agreed timelines. 

To maximize how Meeting Minutes can be helpful to your team, let us quickly go over the basics around this helpful and practical tool.

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What are the Main Components of a Good Set of Meeting Minutes?

A clear and concise Meeting Minutes should contain key information such as what the meeting was about, when it was held, who were the attendees, and the main discussion points – including decisions made, action items, and expected results.  In more detail, it should have the following:

Title and Objective/s. 

What is the meeting about, and why was the meeting was called for.  This will help prioritize topics and direct the discussion, allowing for good use of the time allotted for the meeting.

Attendees. 

A list of all those who participated in the meeting, including those who were supposed to attend but were not able to make it.  With this list and identifying the objectives beforehand, one can evaluate if there are attendees no longer needed for said meetings, and on the other hand, if there are others who should be added.

Agenda/Main Minutes. 

This lists down the topics/subject areas that were discussed, and the agreed items and discussion points under each.

Action Items. 

This part summarizes all items identified for action, expected results, who’s in-charge, and when these should be carried out.

Next Steps. 

A conclusion part of the document summarizing major agreements and action points arising from the meeting.

Why take Meeting Minutes?

Meeting Minutes are highly beneficial and productive for the following reasons:

Effective checklist and basis for follow-up meetings.

A well-documented Meeting Minutes can be the starting point for the next meeting and a useful on-going checklist for things that were addressed, still on-going, those still pending and need follow-through, and any other new items arising from all these that need to be proactively resolved as a result. 

Reliable Reference for Meeting Attendees.

Especially for attendees who inevitably missed the meeting, they can be quickly up to speed by referring to the document.  It is highly recommended to organize these accordingly, so that they may be easy reference material for any need in the future.

Evaluation Tool.

By reviewing the minutes, those involved can quickly assess if there is significant progress and development on items being discussed.  Based on the results, those in charge can change the course of the discussions to better attend to and prioritize items that need more attention.

When creating Meeting Minutes, it is good to be detailed so that it is clearer and easier to understand for the participants.  It should be remembered though that when writing the minutes, the note-taker does not need to record in whole verbatim, but should ensure that the important parts are taken note of, especially those that will affect future discussions, such as agreements, action items, feedback, suggestions, and any other important comments and reactions.

What seems to be a simple document can be a powerful tool to ensure a productive use of everyone’s time.  Meeting Minutes are relatively easy to prepare and a good business practice that can lead to results-driven meetings translating to achieved business objectives and deliverables.

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