How to Write an Effective Team Meeting Agenda (with Examples)

Updated May 18, 2022.
team-meeting-agenda

Meetings are a crucial part of effective project management. However, meetings alone do not guarantee successful projects. A lot of meetings many project managers hold are unorganized and a complete waste of time. 

One of the reasons why projects fail is weak planning. With no clear agenda for these meetings, discussions tend to divert from the project, and meetings last for long hours with no concrete decisions made. 

While some meetings are a complete waste of time such as status updates, others are essential for effective team collaboration and running successful projects. 

However, before you conduct a meeting with your team, you first need to draw up an effective team meeting agenda to ensure everyone gets the best results from it. 

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about writing an effective team meeting agenda including top examples.

Let’s get started.

What is a Team Meeting Agenda?

A team meeting agenda is a list of topics and activities you plan to cover during a meeting. This is the plan for the meeting shared with the participants. Another name for the team meeting agenda is the staff meeting agenda. 

The main purpose of a team meeting agenda is to give team members a clear outline of the meeting structure (what the meeting is about).

Team Meeting Agenda
Source: GoLeanSixSigma

Team meeting agendas serve different purposes in an organization: 

  • Gives the project team prior notice of what will be discussed in the meeting
  • Sets clear expectations for what will occur before and during a meeting 
  • Provides structure to meetings so team members can get things done
  • Helps team members to prepare for the meetings and be able to give proper analysis 

You can liken a team meeting agenda to the program of events. The easiest agendas are those in short bullet points. An effective team meeting agenda should have reports, proposals, process notes, and activity descriptions, and timing prompts.

The team meeting agenda sets out the purpose of the meeting and the order in which topics will be discussed. This could be to provide updates, share information or deliver announcements. It should have a time limit, a moderator, and a well-detailed agenda. 

There are different types of team meeting agendas:

  • Formal Agenda are fixed meeting agendas, where everyone knows when it takes place and the order of events which it will take.
  • Informal Agenda are meeting agendas that do not necessarily include all staff. This involves only some staff gathering to discuss issues or schedule formal agenda meetings.
  • Emergency Agenda are impromptu meeting agendas based on emergency issues that need to be discussed. These agendas are not well coordinated due to their emergency nature.

How to Write an Effective Team Meeting Agenda?

One of the main reasons why a team meeting agenda is important is to keep meeting conversations focused on the essence of the meeting.

Team meeting agendas help team members to review and track their goals. This sets the tone for every meeting and progress that will be made in the company. To write an effective team meeting agenda, there are several things you have to do.

1. List Out the Objectives of the Meeting in Clear Terms

To write an effective meeting agenda, one has to list out what the meeting is all about. This includes all the areas that will be covered during the meeting.

By listing this out, you can then start to place them in different sections of the meeting. This means deciding which topic to start with, which topics to get to after the break, and end with.

2. State Topics As Tasks or Questions 

After listing out the objectives, you can set or fuse these topics into tasks that will make carrying out such an agenda easier and faster. 

This can also come in the form of questions to get inputs from the team members. These questions can be a form of assessment of the capabilities of the team to think outside the box and provide solutions.

3. List Expectations and Responsibilities

When writing the agenda of the meeting, one has to list expectations on what you hope to cover and what you can cover given the limited time required for the meeting. If expectations are not listed, the meeting might drag on and end up being a waste of valuable time. 

Listing responsibilities makes it easier to create and assign tasks. By stating responsibilities, the meeting does not end up with team members dodging responsibilities.

4. Establish the Amount of Time for Each Topic or Agenda 

The first thing that determines the agenda of a meeting is the timing. When the time given for a meeting is short, whatever the agenda is inevitably has to be short and brief. The timing allows the meeting to be well structured and organized. 

5. Present Meeting Agenda

For the agenda to be effective during the meeting, you have to present it in an orderly manner. The agenda is the most important part of the meeting. You must ensure to stay on track with the meeting’s agenda.

When the objectives of the agenda are presented, there must be a moderator to ensure there are no deviations except for the necessary ones. The purpose of an agenda during a meeting is to achieve the objectives outlined.

6. Get Feedback From Your Team

The best way to ensure that all-important matters are discussed is to seek feedback from your team. Whatever topic you choose should be relevant to all participants. Involving your project team ensures that you get the best out of your meetings.

What to Include in a Meeting Agenda

There is no uniform structure for what to include in your meeting agenda. The topics you want to discuss in your team meeting agenda will depend on the purpose of the meeting. 

1. Housekeeping 

Housekeeping includes an introduction before the meeting starts and the agenda for the day starts to roll out. This is where your team discusses previous meeting minutes, announcements, and rules of engagement before the meeting starts. 

The essence of this is to avoid interruptions during the meetings and to carry team members along so everyone is on the same page.

2. Any Other Business (AOB) 

Any Other Business (AOB) comes at the beginning of the meeting before you introduce the agenda. This creates an opportunity for other topics to be discussed before the main agenda of the day 

3. Break

Every meeting should have a break no matter how long or short the meeting is. This is necessary to give attendees time to rest and reset. 

Team members can get a break to read and digest the contents of the agenda. This can help in an emergency setting where members have to read up on the content of the agenda to participate in the meeting.

4. Action Items

Action items are things added to the agenda for the group to review during the meeting. These are steps necessary to achieve the goal of the meeting. However, not all items can be included in a meeting agenda. An action list makes one decide what is more important and what should be included to get things done.

Team Meeting Agenda Examples

1. 15-minute Team Meeting Agenda Template

2. Team Meeting Agenda Template with Calculated Times

Team Meeting Agenda Template with Calculated Times
Source: Vertex42

3. Project Kick-Off Meeting Agenda Template

Project Kick-Off Meeting Agenda Template
Source: ProjectCubicle

4. Project Manager Meeting Agenda Template

5. Project Planning Meeting Agenda Template

6. Project Retrospective Meeting Agenda Template

Project Retrospective Meeting Agenda Template
Source: FellowApp

7. Board Meeting Agenda Template

Board Meeting Agenda Template
Source: Venngage

8. Conference Agenda Template

9. Informal Team Meeting Agenda

10. Formal Meeting Agenda Template

Formal Meeting Agenda Template
Source: Smartsheet

An Effective Team Meeting Agenda Template

Team meeting agendas vary from one another depending on the purpose of the meetings. 

Date: 12 – 12 – 2021

Time: 12pm

Participants: John Doe, Alex Dunne, Rebecca Lindsey, Micheal Edwards, Moriah Cakes

Agenda Details 

Goals and Objectives

Campaign for a new product

Review Plans 

  • Review of product 
  • Market strategies 
  • Promotion of product both online and offline

Prepare Guidelines to Achieve the Plan

  • Test-run of product
  • Objectives in form of tasks 
  • Analysis of how to put the product out achieve the goal

How to Manage the Situation 

This is in the form of questions to the attendees on how to manage and promote the product. 

End of Meeting Review

At the end of the meeting, when agendas have been presented and questions have been asked, the team should give feedback on the product and the way forward to achieve the objectives of the agenda.

Tips for Effective Team Meetings

1. List the Themes

Listing the themes of what you intend to discuss is crucial for planning an effective team meeting. An agenda helps to create and put these themes together to form a whole. This can serve as the foundation of the meeting to build the agenda that will be presented.

2. Create an Action Plan 

A to-do list is a very effective way to create an agenda for the meeting. An action plan can also work for projects as well as team meetings.

When agendas start to roll out during the meeting, one can tick them off from the agenda program that has been given at the beginning of the meeting. This will let you know which agenda items have been discussed and which ones are left out.

3. Make Room for Participation and Input

A team meeting is incomplete without contributions from team members. Most team meetings take the form of lots of input from the organizers and management and little or no input from the team. Team meetings yield a better result when there are inputs and participation from all attendees. 

4. Identify the Purpose of Each Objective 

To get more inputs and participation from participants, you have to explain each agenda in detail. This will explain the why and what each agenda is for. Identifying the purpose of each objective shows transparency and accountability on the agenda of the meeting.

5. Make it Informational

When the meeting is informational, this will trigger attendees to ask lots of questions, brainstorm, and bring up even better ideas to achieve the purpose of the meeting.

Facts and figures are very important, this will give a clear picture of the meeting. Pictures and diagrams can be used to demonstrate or illustrate the ideas one plans to pass across during the meeting.

6. Prepare and Reuse a Team Meeting Template

Team meeting templates help you organize your team meetings and provide you with an effective structure for planning your meetings. 

Creating team meeting templates is a good idea for you to save time and run effective team meetings. It is a good practice to save team meetings templates that work for your intended purpose.

You can edit or customize team meeting templates to organize topics for discussion and allocate time for each idea. With this, you stay on track during the team meeting and use time wisely. These templates help you keep notes for every topic discussed, and keep these notes or share them with participants and those who missed the meeting.

7. Plan the Team Meeting Ahead of Time

Planning is essential for an effective team meeting. Schedule your meeting and plan the details ahead of time so that everyone is aware and able to prepare effectively for the meeting before the due day. 

When planning for the team meeting, ask every member of your team to make inputs to the meeting agenda. This way, you can ensure that you do not only discuss what you feel is important but also ensure that the meeting focuses on your team’s needs.

8. Rotate the Roles in the Meeting

One of the challenges of conducting an effective team meeting is ensuring every participant is actively involved. Rotate crucial meeting roles like timekeeper and notetaker between all participants, especially when it is a recurring team meeting. Doing this will ensure all your team members get engaged. 

You can also allocate sections in the team meeting anchored by different team members. This will ensure every team member is prepared and actively engaged during the meeting. It also allows learning management skills and learning from each other. 

9. Assign Next Steps

A team meeting is incomplete if there are no clear next steps that every participant can follow. Team meetings should provide you and your team with clear tasks and responsibilities that need to be completed or worked on to a satisfactory extent before the next meeting.