Meeting minutes are essential. Many of you likely spend your entire day in meetings, and often the result of a meeting is to have another meeting. You can easily become overwhelmed with deliverables that result from a meeting, or even directions you need to provide to your team.
This is why it essential you always have a team member present responsible for recording meeting minutes. Meetings minutes are a physical record of the key aspects and outcomes stemming from conversation in a meeting.
So why waste your time with these? Here are 5 reasons:
1. Facilitating actionable response
How many times have you gone to a follow up meeting only to find that no action was taken on the events from the previous meeting, resulting in having yet another future meeting? Meeting minutes help to assign responsibility and actions to team members, which also established accountability. Accountability always produces a better result.
2. Historical Record
Without question meeting minutes establish a written record of events that took place during the meeting. Ever had someone say “you never told me to do that”, or “We never told you guys to do that”? Well meeting minutes allow for traceability of conversation and assignment of actions. It is often recommend you have the meeting minutes signed.
3. Setting Due Dates
Many meetings result in actions that require something to be completed by a certain time frame. It is easy however to forget just when something is to be completed. The three pieces to accountability are assigning an action, assigning a responsible party for that action, and assigning a date in which that action must be completed. Meetings minutes establish all three.
4. Claims & Legal Support
Most projects witness some form of legal claims or lawsuits. It is inevitable when dealing with a large sum of money that dispute will arise. Meeting minutes can be a savior, particularly if signed. An abundant amount of things are discussed in meetings that change the course of a project. It could be a direction given by your client, or the imitation of a major change. It can be difficult, and nearly impossible from a legal standpoint, to use the “The client told us in the meeting” basis for argument. Meeting minutes allow for formal documentation of decisions made and direction given from a client or a contractor. They can be used later for dispute and/or claim management.
5. Captures meeting highlights for those not in attendance
A person can’t attend every single meeting. It is not possible. Many times meeting conflicts arise, or a high priority task prevents a person from attending a meeting. Meeting minutes can be emailed out to relevant team members, including those that were unable to attend. It allows those team members the chance to recap the meeting highlights as well as determine if they themselves have any action items that need to be completed.
Meeting minutes are a great tool for organizational structure, assigning responsibility, and keeping project teams on task.