No matter how you look at it, meetings are a necessary evil. You can't get anything done without them. But what if there were an easier way to make them more enjoyable? What if people didn't dread the words "let's have a meeting"?
One way to make meetings run smoother (and ensure they finish on time, which everyone wants) is to have a meeting agenda set and ready to go before the meeting. It's a good idea to distribute that agenda to attendees ahead of time, too.
The agenda is one of the most important parts of a meeting. It's where people agree on what they will be discussing and how much time they'll spend on each topic. If you fail to plan ahead for your meeting, you are bound to waste everyone's valuable time with random tangents or rants.
Why should you have a meeting agenda?
A meeting agenda is essential for maintaining order in your meeting. An agenda lays out the topics you want to discuss, ensuring that nothing goes unchecked and nothing gets forgotten. It clearly defines how much time each topic will take up so everyone knows when they need to move on.
A properly planned meeting agenda can also help prevent side conversations or rants from derailing the meeting. This is because each topic on the agenda will have a clearly defined end time and any discussion that doesn't fit into that allotted slot should be placed in another meeting.
What should be included in a team meeting agenda?
While there are many different meeting agenda templates, they all serve the same purpose. Your meeting agenda should include the topics that you want to cover in your meeting and how much time each topic will take up. It also helps if the team includes a estimate for how long it thinks the entire meeting will last so people can factor in bathroom breaks, getting coffee, checking their phones, etc.
What is the format of a meeting agenda?
Depending on the length of your meeting, you may want to include an agenda cover page that simply lists the topics to be discussed and who will be leading them. If there are only a few items on the agenda, you can list them all in outlines. However, if there are more than five or six topics (or if your meeting is over an hour), it's best to use something like a list format.
An agenda is not the place for long explanations or introductions. Put all of that information on your meeting slides. Just give people the important details they need to know, such as who will be leading each topic and how much time it will take up.
What are good topics to cover in a team meeting?
When creating your meeting agenda, you should cover many of the same topics that are discussed in any other type of team meeting. This include:
- Welcome and introductions
- Updates on the project (what has been completed, what is left to do)
- Discussion about next steps for this project
- Habits that derail projects (procrastination, people not pulling their weight)
- Project concerns or issues
- Closing the meeting and setting a time for the next meeting.
While this may seem like a lot of topics, they can all fit in a 45-minute meeting if participants take turns leading each one. The participants should be given a chance to ask questions and discuss the topic before it is moved on from.
Using a pre-made template for meeting agendas can make creating one easier
Having a template also helps people visualize what they need to include and how long each topic will take up.
You can use the team meeting agenda template here and customize it to feet your needs and those of your team.