Yesterday we spoke about some slides on Meeting basics. I wanted to touch on meeting preparation. This is many times over looked, or we think this is just scheduling the meeting and inviting the people. These steps are just the start of the meeting preparation. In looking at slide 5 in this series it talks about, “Define the purpose of the meeting and the outcomes.”
There are two major items here. What is the purpose of this meeting? This question needs to be well thought out. If we don’t have this set we should not have a meeting at all. “The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the issues we are having with the new software we just deployed to production.”
Next we come to the outcomes of the meeting. What do we need to accomplish in the meeting? Do we need a plan? Maybe we already have a plan and we need to discuss who will take on what tasks in the plan. “The outcome of this meeting should be who will perform the software upgrades for the Johnson account and when we can have them completed by.” Some times people use the word “Takeaways” to describe desired outcomes. I have been in meetings with good meeting organizers that will keep notes of all takeaways and review them before the close of the meeting. Also a good follow up is to email the owners of each takeaway so the remember their assignment.