Taking Minutes Of Meetings Can Save Your Project And Your Neck

lady with agenda in hand running meeting

by Mike Mirshams

For a Project Management Professional, any day usually starts and ends with tireless meetings, especially for those who work on more than one project at a time. This can get all jumbled up into mush, and information can always slip into oblivion; people could die. OK, maybe not, but the consequences are still dire. If important jobs are not followed through, it could cost you your project. Here’s how minutes of meetings can save it:

Makes It Official

Taking down the minutes makes decisions taken official. It is in writing, and can actually be used as a legal document in any number of scenarios. Since it contains all the decisions made and actions taken, any action that is not mentioned is thought to have never taken place, and can help get rid of law suits and internal disputes.

Gives Structure

Meetings are way more important than they are given credit for. Certain details such as time, place, company name, board member, managers and employees who were present and all matters discussed, decisions taken, problems solved and motions passed will all be on record.

Establishes Accountability

In case you have a team member with the habit of forgetting to do things and then deciding he was never told to, taking minutes can really help you out. When employees know all decisions and tasks to be done are being recorded, they will feel more accountable. Plus, all parties involved will know exactly who gave the orders, and to whom and why, so that the employees know who they should answer to and you as a project manager can keep track of who is responsible.

Drives Action

This kind of accountability drives your team members to action. Randomly telling your people to complete a job is not enough. When they know it is being recorded on an official legal document they are more likely to grasp the seriousness of a task. This will ensure your project runs smoothly, your employees remain productive and efficient, and meetings remain on track.

Evaluation Tool

When certain actions to be carried out are set out in the minutes, a project manager can always go back and refer to this list at the end of the day to check off all the items and see which ones have not been done. This will help you in keeping the project organized, set future goals, and do any necessary damage control.

A Record For Absentees

Sometimes team members or managers might not be able to attend a meeting. The minutes help keep a record of each meeting, so this can be referred to later if need be, by those who were not there. Even the ones that are there tend to zone out or flat out fall asleep at times, and while this isn’t the best attitude these people should still get to know what went on, for the sake of the project, if nothing else.

Most times it might seem easier to talk through a meeting and concentrate on reaching important decisions instead of recording them. However, the minutes of a meeting will certainly prove their worth a ways down the road when they remind you of an important task, or save your neck when you haven’t done a job you were never told to do in the first place.

About the author

PM Champion offers high quality training in Project Management, especially for the PMP Certification Exam. Our PMP Training Courses will help you become a better Project Manager in your career and for your organization.