The Annual Sales Meeting of Pretso Champion & Co. was held from 12 to 14 April at Goa. There were 42 participants from 16 geographical locations. Multiple presentations were made including individual presentations, branch presentations, zone presentations and presentation for company as a whole. Hours of discussions, takeaways, strategy and plans were discussed.
Everyone got back to their respective locations after the meeting concluded. How do you ensure that all 42 participants are on the same page with respect to the takeaways, decisions made, plan of action et al?
This is where Minutes of Meeting comes into play. One person who is responsible for making the minutes, ‘The Minute Taker’, records all proceedings which are then circulated to all.
So what are Minutes?
Minutes are Transcript or Records of Proceedings
- It is a tangible record of the meeting for its participants, which acts as a reference point.
- It serves to notify (or remind) individuals of tasks assigned to them and/or timelines.
- It is a source of information for members who were unable to attend.
- It serves as a record of motions that were passed and as a reminder of who owns certain tasks.
Why are Minutes written?
Writing minutes can take time and may seem like an unimportant task. But the fact is that not taking meeting minutes can prove to be costly both in terms of time and resources. In absence of minutes, we may find that our colleagues have different recollections of the meeting from us. They also may have different ideas about what was agreed upon. If there are no minutes, then important tasks will be forgotten or fall through the crevices over a period of time, or not achieved by the due date.
Creating meeting minutes provides a written record of what was agreed at a meeting.
- It tells and reminds people what was decided and what they need to achieve and by what date.
- When minutes are received it jogs memories about tasks that people need to do.
- If a task is not performed then you can refer back to the meeting minutes and follow up on it.
- Without meeting minutes, you have no recourse if an action was not carried out.
- In some instances, meeting minutes may be required for legal reasons.
Why getting into the habit of taking minutes of meetings is a good practice?
Your first job! You have joined the branch of a bank in its corporate department as a management trainee. Your boss has asked you to accompany her for a client meeting. During the one hour meeting, multiple things were discussed including the client running through the process of manufacturing, their marketing network, shared numbers, etc. The frequency of reporting, constituents of report, etc. were also discussed.
Once back in the office, the boss asks you to detail the visit in a report, file it and track compliance of matters discussed in the meeting.
You: Does she really think I remember all that was discussed in 60 minutes?
Thankfully for you, the client had an able minute taker who circulates the minutes for everyone’s review, which concisely covers all points.
- Minute taking is an essential part of business meetings.
- In the course of your career, you will find yourself taking minutes in a meeting.
- The minute-taker must be adept at producing concise, easy-to-understand minutes to support the business’ operations and to ensure the meeting’s overall success.
What are the constituents of a Minutes of Meeting
Minutes of Meeting describe and specify what was discussed and decided in a meeting, providing a permanent record of the meeting for future reference.
They include an overview of the structure of the meeting, including,
- Those present and those who could not attend;
- A list of the agenda items/topics;
- Summary of discussion for each agenda item;
- What was achieved during the meeting.
- The actions people committed to;
- Summary of any decisions made. (Minutes serve as a written record that these decisions were made.)
- If a follow-up meeting was agreed on, this should be mentioned.
Meeting Minutes should be distributed shortly after the meeting ends.
There is no need to record the meeting proceedings minute by minute!
To learn more professional skills, visit LawSkills.
This article has been written by Priyanka from Team LawSkills.