As a team manager, project manager, or any other sort of person with direct reports, you know how to run recurring meetings and, what’s more, you’re used to running them in a series and parallel to each other. You feel safe in the meeting agenda that remains quite unchanged from week to week, and you believe in the teams assigned for each recurring meeting.
But perhaps you’ve noticed that the amount of time spent in the meetings and preparing for them each week isn’t resulting in the progress that’s hoped for. It’s not that the meetings are dull — the opposite! They’re idea-rich. But after the meeting, everyone migrates back to their silos and ideas fall through the cracks as time moves forward.
What’s happening here?
You are probably experiencing failures in the following areas critical for the success of meetings, as seen over the long term: documentation and accountability. It’s not that each meeting participant isn’t capable of these two, it’s that all might be approaching them from their own angle.
In terms of note taking, each person might be using their own method and their own tool.
The minutes that are sent around afterwards vary in quality and detail, and a week later begin to look like hieroglyphics. And where were those minutes from the meeting last month? For your whole team to make sure they reached their agreements, they need to fish around in their inbox.
Where documentation fails, accountability fails too.
RunYourMeeting’s productivity app helps close these information gaps and introduces a transparent structure for follow-up. In fact, some of its most beloved features were specifically designed to help meeting organizers excel in their recurring meetings. Here are five ways we’ve done it:
1) All agendas and minutes from a meeting series are kept in chronological order.
No need to look through different notebooks, tools and calendars to get an overview of the whole meeting series process and remind yourself of what decisions have been made over time. The first-ever decisions can be found as easily as the ones from the previous week. With the help of filters, it’s easy to search for past decisions and evaluate the progress made in the time that has elapsed.
2) All participants have easy access to all minutes, actions and decisions.
This gives much-needed transparency to the meeting series, which solves information gaps and misunderstandings, and spurs the active involvement and participation. It’s human to lapse into project fatigue and the same can be said of recurring meetings, but rest assured: giving participants the ability to keep each other on track will improve everyone’s engagement.
3) All meeting participants get their own personal to-do list.
The barrier to actually executing the tasks laid out in a recurring meeting is set higher when it takes detective skills to piece together what those tasks actually are. Imagine wasting time on a search any time a certain action item needs to be reviewed or pushed forward. RunYourMeeting automatically collects action items from all meetings in one place – a handy to-do list – so you don’t need to go hunting around.
4) The responsibility filter keeps track of the actions that are delegated to others.
As a facilitator, your mind is likely preoccupied with the agenda, getting everyone on the same page and starting on time. Taking the lead in any meeting asks for a certain degree of energy —Recycling is good; re-use is better. Even in meeting process.
Why labor over preparation for recurring meetings when you can reuse the structure of a previous, highly successful meeting? RunYourMeeting saves the last meeting’s agenda, list of participants, location and so on. If something works well for you, use it again! The time you would otherwise spend reconstructing a similar agenda is better spent on the content of the agenda itself.
5) Great follow up methods for recurring meetings.
Recurring meetings don’t have to be any of the things they’ve gained an unfortunate reputation for being: a drag, a time-waster, a mindless company habit. RunYourMeeting takes care of the process so you can focus on the content, freeing up time and energy to focus on the actual information that is being exchanged in your meetings. With a more consistent and transparent system in place for documentation and follow-up, this one tool serves as a powerful way to move a team forward, day by day, year by year.