Meeting Minutes Checklist

In my last post I wrote about why status meetings and meeting minutes are important. The following checklist is a simple questionnaire to help you to focus in your discussion.

One big mistake in many status meetings I’ve seen was that everybody was taking about several things in parallel. Raising problems and questions in such a way that you can’t summarize it in written form. There is one good indicator to point out this situation: when the discussion last longer than 5 minutes and you are still not able to write a single sentence in your meeting minute or ticket system.

In that case stop the discussion and start with the following checklist. I promise that you will get immediate input for your minutes. In most cases you get decisions and several todos after such a lengthy discussion.

Here they are:

  • First ask the participants to formulate 1 short sentence which describes the topic best. This is a good starting point for the name of the task.
  • What happened until now?
  • What should happen in the future?
  • Are there alternative solutions?
  • What happens when this issue is not solved or nobody takes care about it?
  • Impact on other tasks, milestones, budget, delivery of the project?
  • Known risks?

For internal status meetings only:

  • Is the customer informed about the topic?
  • Must the customer be informed? If yes in which way, e.g.
    • By phone and phone protocol
    • Traceable in written form like customer status meeting minute
  • Has the topic legal aspects to consider?
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