People will meet in all sorts of different ways for different reasons during a project. However more formal review and planning meetings involving all key stakeholders should form part of the project schedule where key decisions can be discussed and taken. It may need to be agreed in advance by all involved what the ‘quorum’ or minimum number of people present in order for any decision-making to take place. Details such as these should be decided in the first meetings of the group.
The project lead will generally arrange and chair or convene these meetings and they will entail the following:
The agenda is simply a list of items to be considered at a meeting. It is recommended that agendas be shared in advance with expected attendees. In some cases, attendees may wish to contribute to the agenda. At the very least, every attendee should come prepared for the discussion. If someone cannot attend, they have the opportunity to forward their apologies and any input they would like to make in their absence. A meeting agenda will typically include the following:
Date of upcoming meeting
Location of upcoming meeting
Topics for discussion at upcoming meeting including the adoption of the minutes of the previous meeting and AOB (Any Other Business)
Meeting minutes are the record of what was discussed and the decisions taken at a meeting. They should be brief and to the point. They will typically include the following:
- Date and location of meeting
Names of those present and of those who could not attend (Apologies).
Decisions and actions itemised alongside the topics for discussion along with the names of attendees who have committed to undertake certain actions.
Date of the next meeting
It is important that the person taking the minutes has the contact details of all attendees in order to forward them in advance of the next meeting. It is usual to send minutes accompanied by the agenda for the next meeting.
Approval of Meeting Minutes
Typically minutes from a previous meeting are presented by the Chair/Convenor as the first item on a meeting’s agenda. Clarifications and amendments are invited before being adopted. When all are satisfied the facilitator can invite someone to approve the minutes and another person to ‘second’ that approval. From that point onwards, the minutes are seen as a correct record of what has been discussed and agreed. All new comments arising from previous minutes are recorded as part of the successive meeting’s minutes.