There are several reasons why meetings are complete failures. An often-overlooked reason is lack of follow up after the meeting is over. The aftermath of a meeting can be just as important as the meeting itself. It allows for the team to act on the knowledge shared and further the business cause. To ensure success after meetings, here are the top 3 action items that should be taken once the meeting is done.
Have the meeting minutes sent to the relevant stakeholders for future references as it allows for review and holds everyone accountable. If creativity is an essential part of the meeting process, either cancel minute taking or ensure all parties are aware that nothing besides key items will be taken out of the meeting. This will allow the team to feel comfortable and speak their mind. Some options to store meeting minutes are:
Action items are an essential part of the meeting process as it allows for concrete steps to be made for continuous business success. Action items need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, and Relevant. To ensure their success, specific individuals with the available time should take ownership of the task, also, have a time limit, otherwise, it may be left in the backburner and forgotten. In some cases, setting a prioritization method can be quite helpful for the team. Also, have a place where people can go to update the actions are essential for a smooth process. Atlassian JIRA is a great tool to keep track of action items through their ticketing mechanism, it also serves as a good opportunity for teams to move towards a more Agile mindset. Some businesses have difficulties creating the culture of updating action items and following-up on them. To improve the odds of success, managers need to emphasize the importance of the process and in some cases, to decrease the weight on the manager’s shoulders, team members may take ownership of the action items and their follow-up.
In case you need a hand organizing your action items after a meeting, check out our Free Action Items List tracker.
A follow-up can be a powerful tool for both attendees and meeting leads. An attendee may use a follow-up to reiterate his understanding of the next steps and what the team and organization may require. For the leads, it can be used as an opportunity to either reinforce the action items and meeting minutes or to inquire whether things are on track before a future meeting. When follow-ups are done correctly, it allows for clearer organizational communication without coming across as micromanaging.
Success after meetings is supported by a group of tools and practices that can guide decision makers and participants into the right direction. Actions items, meeting minutes, and their respective follow-ups are very useful tools to ensure the business is on track and that relevant parties are on top of the key areas that matter. No matter what business a person is in, there are always steps that can be taken to facilitate and ensure a successful meeting process and the above steps are nearly universal in its value to ensure any meeting is successful. If your business is interested in a tailored solution to improving after meeting success, reach out to us or comment below.