Creating an Effective Agenda

Recently I attended a training session on "Running Effective Meetings". It was a nice refresher course and summarized a number of practices quite well. Below I've included some notes on creating an agenda that was included in the course. Running Effective Meetings Recipe for Creating an Agenda

  1. Overall Goal: The overall finish line; where the team is heading; the final result
  2. Meeting Objectives: What the meeting will accomplish, directly related to achieving the overall goal. Assure each objective is SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely)
  3. Non-Objectives: What will not be accomplished in the meeting; identify areas that could pull the meeting off-track and articulate that they will NOT be covered in the meeting. Depending on the area, it may make sense to schedule or allow an alternate time to address the issues.
  4. Critical Information: The information needed in the meeting to achieve the meeting objectives. Could be published in advance with a note to ‘review prior to attending’ to expedite the time together.
  5. Topics: The discussion activities that help to achieve the meeting objectives.
  6. Key Players: The people who must attend for the meeting to be successful. Consider skills, resources, authority, and buy-in. If the meeting is one of many, it may be beneficial to assure everyone understands their role. RACI* is a good tool to use to help people understand their participation activities, time commitments, and team expectations.

*- RACI: (R) – Responsible; (A) – Accountable, (C) – Consulted and (I) – Informed. A short whitepaper can be found here. The company that put on the training session is called NetSpeed - you can find them here.