Plan an Operational Meeting Agenda Using Expert Advice

The value of productive operational meetings is great, they save time, mobilize the team and allow you to properly set up all participants in the workflow to achieve a common goal. In this article, we will define the basic aspects of the operational meeting agenda.

What is the operational meeting? The role of agenda

The effectiveness of a meeting depends to a large extent on how strictly its format is maintained. The “format” of the meeting should be understood not only as of the composition of the participants but also as the nature and sequence of their actions to make the necessary management decision. And these actions in all types of meetings will be different because they are determined by different goals.

The goals of the operational meeting are to collect information about the current state of affairs, coordinate efforts, check mutual understanding, and clarify tasks for the current moment. Operational meetings are held regularly, usually at the same hour and day of the week. Membership is more or less permanent. The duration of such meetings is from 10 to 40 minutes. Additional notification in most cases is not required.

The meeting has a clearly defined configuration, is held within a given company (division, group) or between several enterprises  At the beginning of such meeting there is the clarification of the goal and the function of a meeting, which leads to operational meeting agenda.

It should be noted that the design of the agenda can have a decisive influence on the course of a meeting, as setting the time frame for individual items or the timing of an item on the agenda is an effective control instrument.

The basic operations meeting topics

Operational meetings are characterized by a relatively stable agenda, the topics (sections or questions) which are reproduced from meeting to meeting. When preparing the meeting, the leader fixes a list of those who want to discuss issues, looks through the minutes of previous meetings to check the fulfillment of the instructions given, determines the need to invite additional participants, etc. The sequence of issues discussed, due to the standard agenda, is usually the same. At the same time, it is recommended to start with the simplest questions, consider complex or controversial ones in the middle of the meeting, and send non-standard ones to the end.

A written agenda will allow people to make sure that they do not waste time in pointless conversations, and the issues discussed will be relevant to their area of interest. This further disciplines the meeting participants.

Following expert advice, there are the following recommendations to operations meeting topics:

  • if possible, arrange the topics on the agenda in such a way that they follow each other logically;
  • in case there is not enough time for the meeting, the issues on the agenda can be sorted in descending order of importance (then you will have time to discuss the most important thing) or in ascending order of complexity (then you will have time to close the maximum of questions);
  • it is better to put conflicting topics at the end in order to work in a constructive atmosphere for as long as possible.

Work meetings can be designed in such a way that the participants are actively involved in the creation of the agenda. A special form that promotes such a collaborative creation of an agenda is the use of mind mapping software. The board portal also offers the option of adding notes and attaching documents and links that serve to prepare the individual agenda items.

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