Manage accountability by consistently using agendas, notes, and action items
Healthy teams rely on some simple meeting principles to keep their work on track. Managers set their teams up for success by consistently following these steps:
- Clearly state the purpose and agenda for every meeting in the invitation
- Take notes and action items for every meeting, issue them the same day, and store them in a common location
- Maintain action items in a log which is updated on a regular interval and managed to completion
- Use a standard template for meeting invitations, notes, and action items
Notes should be concise and should capture the salient points of discussion. Busy teams make many decisions throughout any given day. Capturing notes on these decisions avoids the need to revisit the same questions later.
Identifying action items as they arise and deciding who will complete the action and by when, ensures that work proceeds.
Reviewing open actions on a consistent interval keeps people accountable for work on the critical path. There are simple ways to automate tracking of assigned actions.
Finally, standardizing everything from file naming convention to your notes template allows team members to seamlessly move into the note taking role for any meeting. Teams that take ownership for a common operating process feel the reward of collective success.
Highly successful projects include the discipline to care for these activities. Some teams may feel that their work is simple, or others may feel they are too busy, but implementing this level of rigor brings accountability and efficiency to your work and ultimately will save you time.