Benefits of clear minutes

  1. clarify how, when, why, and by whom decisions are made
  2. action items: work gets done
  3. useful info from people not at meeting
Take a look at some example minutes. Don't worry about the content of the minutes for now; it's the format we're concerned with. Notice how the essential information is all available at the top: who was there, when/where the next meeting will be, what was decided at the meeting, and what actions people are accountable for, called action items. The first item on the agenda of each meeting is action-item followup, providing accountability that helps things actually get done.

The summary by itself would be an adequate record of what took place, but it's also useful to provide some of the conversation that led up to those decisions and action items. Writing up such conversation is a lot of work, and mistakes are inevitable. The disclaimer explains this to help prevent tempers from flaring.

Absent team members can read clear minutes and add their input into the conversation that took place. I had one meeting that got a very useful reply in this way.

The Importance of Meeting Minutes
Last modified: Fri Jan 3 16:20:47 EST 1997