Effective meetings are the pillar of a successful workflow within a company. From the first one-on-one meeting with an employee to company-wide meetings, the meeting agenda plays a crucial role in ensuring your meetup runs smoothly.
When you need to organize numerous meetings year-round, a team meeting agenda template saves the day. An agenda template helps you to structure an efficient meeting agenda quickly and distribute it on time to every team member.
Team meeting agenda templates are also handy when you need to make sure you don’t leave an important meeting topic out. Whether you are preparing for a staff meeting or board meeting, we will help you create the optimal meeting agenda.
Effective team meeting or staff meeting agenda template consists of clear goals and time-bound agenda items categorized into concise groups.
The essential components of well-designed agenda templates are the following:
It is a good practice to prepare the agenda way ahead of the meeting and distribute it to the attendees. The Agenda’s task before the meeting is to prepare the participants and set clear expectations of what will be discussed.
The meeting agenda also clarifies what will not be discussed at that particular meeting. That way, if employees feel that another topic should be discussed or an issue needs to be addressed, they can schedule a one-on-one meeting separately.
If you use a team management tool such as Plai, you can easily share the agenda within the app so everyone can access it. The sooner you make the agenda visible, the more time people have to suggest adjustments and manage their expectations from the set meeting.
When designing an effective meeting agenda template, remember the 4 Ps:
With these in mind, you can organize a meeting that is both productive and engaging - a meeting that gets the job done.
Preset meeting agenda templates save time when you must prepare agendas for numerous meetings every month. Here is our template and example for a weekly meeting of the entire team.
Project name: New Social Media Platform
Project manager: Alfonso
Introduction (5 minutes) - Alfonso
Project scope overview (5 minutes) - Alfonso
Project progress (10 minutes) - Malika
Challenges and bottlenecks (10 minutes) - Guiseppe
Next steps (5 minutes) - Alfonso
In order for your team to be fully prepared for the next meeting, share the relevant documents along with the agenda. When assigning team meeting agendas within a tool such as Plai, you can attach different document types or link to a collaborative document online.
Not every agenda item is equally important.
For example, a weekly team meeting is held at the beginning of each week to organize the next sprint. The priority of the meeting is the upcoming tasks, from the essential to recurring ones. When structuring a weekly team meeting agenda, prioritize the key tasks and make sure every team member is on the same page.
Let’s check some actionable tips on how to make a well-planned meeting.
A weekly SCRUM meeting and a brainstorming session regarding a new project proposal are two very different huddle calls.
Before structuring a team meeting agenda, determine the meeting type. Onboarding meeting, evaluation meeting, or project kick-off meeting - the type of call implies what kind of structure your agenda will have.
Moreover, the name itself allows for the meeting participants to adequately prepare before joining the session.
Not all meetings have the same purpose. To hold a productive meeting, you need to determine the key topics for that meeting.
Sprint planning meetings, for example, are easy to structure with meeting agenda templates with no need to specify external topics other than the project organization itself.
However, brainstorming meetings require a list of challenges you are dealing with. Your team needs to develop creative ideas for each of these challenges to overcome the obstacle.
Sometimes, more than one meeting is required to cover all the topics you need to discuss. This is where you must prioritize and decide what must be discussed in the meeting and which decisions can be made in another format.
It is essential that the first agenda item introduces the main objective of the meeting and focuses on the most important matter that concerns all team members. It is best to leave out the team meetings for specific tasks that can be discussed in an email or remote one-on-one meeting with the manager in charge.
Meeting goals is another factor that can help you decide what stays and what goes. Individual and group goals determine whether some talking points need to take place in a group meeting or a personal session.
A common challenge in meeting agendas could be better allocated time for each topic. Discussions happen to go off track by team members, resulting in a meeting that is way too long and the participants can’t wait to leave.
The most important aspect of good facilitation is following the schedule in the agenda.
Leave room for some flexibility in the schedule, especially for the most important topics that require undivided attention by all meeting attendees. For example, if an agenda item is an announcement of a new company policy, leave extra minutes for potential questions and clarifications to the employees.
Dedicated time for a certain topic is required..
For example, one of the team meeting topics is choosing a new color palette for a product design. This is not the call's priority and requires some team members to be on the same page. The allocated time for the topic is 10 minutes, but the time limit is 15 if the discussion gets creative before you need to move to the next priority on your list.
We know that things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes, no matter how well you prepare the meeting agenda, new information or events can change the course of the meeting.
Some of the reasons why you may need to adjust the meeting agenda are:
When it comes to last-minute changes in the meeting agenda that you must make on the spot, strategies usually include adding/removing specific topics or adjusting the allocated time.
If you need to add a priority topic that needs to be discussed immediately, set it to be the first item on the agenda and assign the facilitation to the person responsible. Since this addition will extend the meeting duration, you may need to remove a less significant topic or save it for one-on-one meetings with your colleagues.
In other cases, where a topic can be left out of the meeting, you have an extra slot to include a topic left out of the team meeting due to a lower priority. Use the available time to cover the “backup topic” instead of saving it for another session.
To make sure you are organizing the most productive meetings, check direct reports and individual meeting notes at the end of the meeting. Furthermore, you can include meeting-related questions in the 360-degree reviews, to gather feedback and improve the weak points of your agenda templates.
Join the Plai family to schedule meetings and manage your team easily. Whether you are organizing a weekly, staff, or board meeting, we have you covered with easily adjustable agenda templates.
Schedule a Plai demo and gain access to a people and performance management tool with free templates for every meeting.
In this guide, you will find:
- OKR principles
- Formulas & scores
- OKR methodology
- Step-by-step guide
- Free OKR templates
- Common mistakes
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