Team meetings can be one of the most important parts to your team’s workflow, but few people pay enough attention to one of their most crucial components: meeting agendas. Having a good team meeting agenda can make or break your meeting’s productivity and flow.
So here’s our complete guide to creating and refining your optimal meeting agenda, from what to include to different potential formats and any extra tips you might need.
What Is A Team Meeting Agenda? Why Do I Need One?
Team meeting agendas are incredibly helpful tools to keep your meetings organized and on track, but before we discuss their benefits, let’s back it up a bit and discuss why holding regular team meetings is important.
Though the benefits of holding regular team discussions in order to keep everyone on the same page are obvious, team meetings have several other added benefits.
For one, they offer opportunities to keep metrics on progress and productivity by giving weekly or daily points of reference. These metrics can be tracked through meeting notes, another important component of team meetings. If you want to learn how to take better meeting notes, read our guide to taking your best team meeting notes here.
Likewise, holding team meetings can also help you discuss and deal with any potential blockers, or brainstorm ideas for your next team sprint.
Now that we’ve discussed team meetings themselves, let’s move onto team meeting agendas. Meeting agendas are lists of objectives a team needs to cover during their meetings. This list has many different purposes: for example, it gives team members an idea of what is to be discussed during the meeting; it keeps the team focused and on topic; and it can help prioritize and pace the meeting itself.
With this in mind, meeting agendas can help boost productivity and save your team crucial time in the process. Who wouldn’t want that?
What Your Ultimate Team Meeting Agenda Needs
There are several crucial elements to every team meeting agenda. We’ll go over each here.
We know, we know--ice breakers aren’t everyone’s favourite thing. But give us a second to explain why including them in your team meeting agenda is a good idea.
Behavioural investigators at Science of People have argued that adding icebreakers to your meeting agenda can help break tension and warm up your team creatively.
Good collaboration between coworkers is one of the most important aspects to having a good team. Ice breakers can help your team get to know each other and be more comfortable around each other, leading to stronger bonds, better communication and an inclusive atmosphere.
You may not want to include icebreakers with every meeting, but they can be incredibly helpful when onboarding new team members or starting new projects, or whenever you sense a decrease in collaboration or team morale. You could also use this space to shout out any team members who have done exceptional work or stepped up to plate recently as well.
Goals and Metrics
Every team meeting needs a specific goal to guide your discussion. This can be an overarching goal for a specific project or sprint, or just a goal or metric for that particular discussion. Though the goal will depend on your team itself, it should be concrete, actionable and clear to everyone in your team.
This theme will help to keep your meeting on topic and focused, and measuring your current meeting’s goal against previous ones can help you track progress and workflow as well.
What information or updates does your team need to know in order to function properly and stay on the same page? This could include new priorities, metrics on the last meeting, and any feedback from higher-ups.
Likewise, every meeting is likely going to have items that need to be discussed. This could be in the form of feedback, brainstorming sessions, or a roundtable on any potential roadblocks.
This part of the meeting could also be used as a sprint retrospective, where team members go over the aspects of their sprint that they want to stop, start and/or continue.
Many of the above two types of items will lead you towards action items--things that directly lead to tasks or work. This is also the recap part of your meeting: emphasize any deadlines, delegated tasks and key takeaways in order to focus your team for the next meeting.
How to Write Your Team Meeting Agenda
Now that we’ve gone over what to include in your meeting agenda, let’s discuss the hardest part: putting together the agenda itself.
Create Meeting Objectives
The single most important part of your team meeting agenda is making sure your meeting objectives are clear. This could be a brief overview of what your meeting needs to cover without any specific items--for instance, do you have any updates you need to share? What is your meeting’s goal? What are your discussion items?
The more clarity you can provide for your meeting’s objectives, the easier it is to streamline the meeting and keep on track without wasting time.
Delegate Tasks and Responsibilities
Just like your objectives section, it’s also incredibly important to clarify and emphasize any responsibilities and tasks. If you need your team members to prepare anything in advance, let them know. Are specific participants responsible for particular topics? Delegate tasks in advance so everyone knows what to work on.
This ensures that they won’t be put on the spot during the meeting, allowing you to save time and keeping things running smoothly.
Use Topics as Headings
Another way to easily section off the different parts of your agenda is to use topics as headings. This allows you to make different sections clear immediately. These topics can be everything from questions to tasks--whatever works best for your team.
If you have a software development team, create a section for any bugs or code issues that may have come up and how to fix them. If you have a marketing team, leave a dedicated section for talking about campaign metrics.
Keep A Strict Schedule
Time is also incredibly important to keep in mind when creating your agenda. Many people make the mistake of over-packing their agenda, which can lead to an overly-long meeting and wasted time.
In your meeting, each section will include the topic, details, discussion and potentially even some questions from your team. Keep in mind how long each section and/or topic will take when you’re writing your agenda and revise it as needed.
But don’t go to the other extreme either and edit your agenda down to its bare bones--you’ll need enough to go off of in your meeting. Finding the right balance between the two is key.
One of the best ways to make sure your team meeting agenda is being streamlined is to incorporate feedback from team members. As you refine your agenda, ask your team what they think works and what could be improved.
One of the easiest ways to do this is with our meeting notes template. Simply add your team members to a meeting notes report and collect post-meeting feedback from them on what worked, what could be improved, and what could be cut.
Different Types of Team Meeting Agendas
Because meetings for different styles or types of teams will differ, the agendas these teams use will be different as well. The agenda for a sales team meeting, for example, will probably be very different from one for a development team meeting. It all depends on the objectives of your meeting. Here are a couple of guidelines to get you started.
Project Meeting Agenda
Generally speaking, the meeting agenda for a project meeting should have one simple objective: update the team on progress and delegate future tasks.
After that, you’ll need to discuss your project’s progress and completed tasks. What has been completed so far? What is currently in progress, and who is working on it? What has been learned since the last meeting? All of these things are important for the discussion and information items sections of your agenda.
Furthermore, you’ll also have to create and refine your action items. What are your goals for the next meeting? Who will be working on what? You will need to outline your next steps here.
Retrospective Meeting Agenda
A team meeting agenda for a sprint retrospective meeting will be much different from one for a project meeting. First and foremost, your action items will consist of the complete sprint’s tasks and objectives.
You will also need to note down three sections for further notes: what went well, what didn’t go well, and ideas for improvement. These will form the basis of your discussion and future action items for the next meeting.
Metrics Meeting Agenda
Lastly, let’s quickly discuss a meeting agenda focused specifically on metrics.
First and foremost, you’ll have to choose an objective. This can be different depending on your focus; for instance, your meeting objective could be to figure out how to boost your metrics, or how you reached the metrics you currently have.
Let’s assume your meeting objective is to boost metrics. For this, your discussion items might be to discuss what is currently working, and what isn’t. In turn, your action items might be next steps and future targets to try and hit.