If you are one of those managers that has someone type up meeting minutes, you sign off on them, and then send out paper copies to each participant, it is likely your staff is not as productive as they could be. Meeting minutes are a tool to gauge the effectiveness of the meeting and the results achieved as a result of the meeting being held.
For any tool to be productive it must be utilized in the proper manner, meeting minutes can be an asset to insure that decisions made by a group conference are carried out and the desired results are attained.
Meeting minutes must include not just a summary of what was discussed at the meeting, but what decisions were made as a result of the discussion. In addition, once the decision is finalized a plan of action should be put into place, assignments made, and deadlines for completion set. Each step of the conclusions reached by the group need to be completely detailed in the minutes; then the document becomes a guide to follow and a basis for productivity reports.
For example let’s assume a meeting was held to determine if a new product is to roll off the company assembly line. Engineering must design the product and marketing must determine the marketability of the item. It is likely these two things should work in unison on the project timeline and other divisions must await the result of the engineering and marketing work. Who in the two departments will take the lead and what is the deadline for completion; these are action points that meeting minutes should document. Purchasing knows that when engineering has completed their work it is time to source materials; accounting knows that if marketing finds a viable market, expense models will need to be coordinated with all departments to assess costs for the product. Again, who is the lead and how will communication on results be disseminated.
Meeting minutes covering each aspect of the example above then become an effective standard to judge the performance of each department, lead individual and the ultimate success of the project.
To take maximum advantage of meeting minutes with this amount of detail use a software module that allows key management personnel the opportunity to interface, monitor and report digitally. Paper can tell the same story but electronic media can tell the story faster and more efficiently. If you want to see your management career move to the next level, direct your meeting with the intent of using the minutes recorded to drive the engine of productivity.