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10 Keys to a Great Set of Meeting Minutes

Thought Leader
By Dave Oshlag, President Project Marketing Associates Last time in this space we talked about what’s necessary for a productive team meeting. The combination was 41-38-13, a shorthand for the low percentage of time an agenda is created for a meeting, distributed to participants in advance and meeting minutes issued within a day of the meeting. Once the meeting is held, it’s vital that minutes be issued the same or the next day. If not, other more pressing matters will have arisen and filled the participants’ memory drives, making it much harder to recall your meeting topic and specific details. Meeting minutes need not be complicated; however, they should contain the following to be efficient and effective: Provide a project title and meeting date. Yours is not the only set of minutes being received. Make sure recipients quickly can identify your project and the day the meeting took place. Denote all team members who were present, those that may not have been in attendance and cc: the senior management project sponsor. It will be important to have a record of who was and wasn’t present when key decisions were made. Provide titles of project sections discussed. Organize minutes so they are easy to read in a quick scan and attendees can focus in on what is most important for them. Give clear, concise bullet points using an active tone under each section title. For example: “Discussed the best way to accomplish developing a total of three new products for the next fiscal year which included…” Action items should be clearly identified and include the name of the person who’s responsible, what they are to do and the due date of the action. For example: “A/I (Dave) – develop complete timetable using stage gate process by 2/1/20.” Pre-announce all information for the next team meeting. Remember, as the team leader, you are in competition for your team’s resources, which includes their time to meet. Provide links and locations to key project information, such as Sharepoint sites. Make it as easy as possible for team members to find key documents. Include an invitation for participants to offer up edits, such as “Let me know if you have any additions or changes to these minutes.” As the meeting minutes author, include your contact information in the signature. If team members have questions, make it as easy as possible for them to contact you. Be sure that all information cleanly and concisely fits on 1-2 pages. You’re issuing meeting minutes, not a dissertation. Once the minutes are issued, you then have license to follow up with those that have the key action items to ensure timely results. If you have a product, service offering or book that makes SMB’s more productive by saving them time and money, email to schedule a review via telephone or over coffee. Dave Oshlag is President of Project Marketing Associates ( and CEO of W5Templates ( He offers a practical and results-oriented approach to Project Management and CRM based on 25+ years of business experience.