PRE-REQUISITE READING BEFORE GOING THROUGH THIS POST : IMPORTANCE OF MEETING AGENDA (WITH TEMPLATE)
For a meeting to be productive, the meeting owner (aka meeting chairperson) must define the boundaries and place it in the agenda and circulated well before the meeting is scheduled.
During the confines of the meeting room, all the discussions that place must be documented – in order that an evidence of what is discussed is recorded and to take further actions based on the discussions.
The document which is used to record the key discussion points and actions is generally called as the minutes of the meeting. MOM in short.
Generally, there will be one of the meeting attendees assigned to take up this role. The chairperson is not advised to take down the minutes as it may impede him from running the meeting. In the IT industry, we generally nominate junior members to take up this task. We look at it like hands-on training for newer recruits.
You can download the Microsoft Excel template which is enclosed at the end of this post. I have seen a number of MOM templates and none were complete. If it had the basic administrative information, it lacked in capturing action items. Or vice versa. I came up with the template based on general requirements in meetings and my requirements of what needs to get captured during meetings for it to be most effective.
You will find in the template that I have included all the requisite administrative information like where the meeting took place, who played the role of the chairperson, who keyed in the minutes, people who attended and who didn’t. Along with it, I have also captured MOM distribution list. In most cases, people who attended the meeting will be a subset of all the people who expect to be informed of the meeting’s discussions.
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Also, if there is a next meeting, it will be decided right during this meeting and captured in the minutes. So, the members or attendees know exactly when the follow-up meeting would and come fully prepared.
The next tab contains the summary of discussions. Key in all the items that were discussed during the course of the meeting. It is a good practice to take down all the items that came up during the meeting rather than filtering it at source.
The final tab is for noting down actions. Actions are specific. It states what needs to be achieved, by who and by when. This according to me is the critical section of the MOM and is a must. Just ensure that the actions are unambiguous.