Meeting Agenda - Meaning, Importance, Steps & Example

Published in Human Resources Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Meeting Agenda?

Meeting agenda is generally known as ‘orders of the day’, which the participants hope to discuss during the meeting. A meeting agenda is communicated prior to the meeting so that the participants can prepare for the discussion. A standard meeting agenda should include the purpose of meeting, participants’ progress on previous action-items and review of the commitments done by the participants.

Importance of defining the Meeting Agenda

Meeting agenda is very useful and important when it comes to business meetings. If clear agenda is not defined before conducting a meeting, a lot of time would be wasted to understand what is the supposed need and the outcome of the meeting.

The participants would not understand what they have to do. Also while setting up the meeting agenda, the participant list can be refined.

If a particular participant is not needed in agenda item, then he/she should not be invited. 

8 Steps to write a Meeting Agenda

There are multiple ways in which an individual can write a meeting agenda. The following steps highlight how a good meeting agenda can be defined:

1. Define Objectives

Precisely define why the meeting is required along with objectives and purpose. All the key points should be mentioned as a list of the topics which need to be discussed during the meeting.

Remember to put only the key and important points only so that everyone clearly understand the objectives.

2. Define Outcomes and Deliverables

Clearly call out the outcomes expected from the meeting e.g. a list, strategy or a document. The deliverables should be clearly mentioned so that the attendees can have some view on what can be done.

3. List Attendees/Participants

Make a list of all participants required in the meeting. You can also mention some participants as optional. If possible, call out names of the required attendees against the individual  agenda points.

4. Call out Location and Time

Clearly mention the location (meeting room or virtual), the time and the duration of the meeting. Also make sure to check the availability of key participants and call the meeting at the time they are available. Duration is very important. 

5. Mention Time zone

Make sure to mention the time zone correctly in case the participants are from different geographies. 

6. Attach reference documents

Attach documents or references if you expect participants to know or study something before joining the meeting.

These can either be email attachments or if in office, some reference material can be distributed to the key attendees.

7. Define Time limits, if any

Put a time limit on agenda line items if there are more than 2 or 3 so that lot of time does not go in the first few points.

By mentioning these time limits in the meeting agenda, one can structure the meeting well. The more structured is the meeting, more efficient it is for reaching an outcome.

8. Define it as one off meeting or series

Clearly mention in the agenda if the meeting is part of a series or is it a one meeting in which a decision might be required. If there is a follow up, mention it in the agenda if possible.

9. Review from Previous Meeting

If this meeting is a follow-up from a previous meeting, then also mention the previous action items and activities in the meeting agenda for the upcoming meeting.

The first point in the agenda then should be Review.

Meeting Agenda Template

After going through the steps above, the following template or sample can be referred for creating a simple meeting agenda:

1. Title of the Meeting:

Provide a simple & clear meeting title

2. Objective

Clear goal and objective of the meeting

3. Participants

a. Required Participants

b. Optional Participants

4. Key Agenda Points in a numbered list

a. List of all Agenda Items

b. Action Items

c. Review Items

5. Location & Time (Optional- as it would be part of invite)

Meeting Agenda Example Format

Example 1 : With time and events

Title: Leadership Project Meeting

Objective: Team Introduction and Project Allocation

Participants: Leaders, New Joiners

Agenda Points

0:00-0:10 Host welcome and introduction: Host of the meeting introduces himself and welcomes participants

0:10-0:25 Attendee introductions: Ask every participant to introduce themselves and share their reason for wanting to serve

0:25-0:45 choose a project: Introduce some project ideas and keep the meeting open for discussion

0:45-0:55 Set goals and identify leadership: Ask each participant to consider personal goals and make a realistic but determined service commitment

0:55-1:00 Conclusions

1:00-1:15 Leadership team meeting: Meet with the leaders to set weekly conference and work on action-items

Example 2: Normal List

Title: Formulate New Launch Strategy

Objective: Creating a strategy and solution to the new business scenarios

Participants: Smith, John, Adam

Key Agenda Points

1. Challenges due to a particular issue - John

2. Discuss Market trends - Adam

3. Views from all participants - Smith

4. Discuss solution - John, Adam

5. Finalize approach - John

Hence, this concludes the definition of Meeting Agenda along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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