In past articles, we’ve offered meeting agenda templates for sales team meetings, sprint planning meetings, and more.
But what if you don’t need something quite so specialized? If you’re looking for a more general meeting agenda template that can be applied across teams, departments, and even industries, keep reading for a highly adaptable meeting structure that can be customized to any situation.
Before Your Meeting
Before we get to the customizable template, there are a few steps you’ll want to take to help streamline the agenda planning process:
- First, confirm that you really need to hold a meeting. People's time is valuable. If the issue you’re trying to solve can be handled by a phone, email, or Slack message, don’t pull them away from work unnecessarily.
- Next, make sure you have the right attendees. Meetings often have several different types of attendees—those who are expected to contribute, for example, and those who simply need to know the outcomes of the session. Rather than taking time away from those who won’t actively participate, send Otter notes after the meeting instead so they can catch up and share their feedback.
- Finally, establish a clear intention for the meeting. Do you need to answer a question? Brainstorm possible solutions? Communicate new information? Understanding your goal for your meeting won’t just make it easier to create an agenda—it’ll also ensure your session is as focused and productive as possible.
A Customizable Team Meeting Agenda Template
Once you know who will be attending your meeting and what you need to cover, use the following template to create a custom team meeting agenda. You may not need to include all of the elements listed below—pick and choose from the list based on your unique circumstances and requirements.
- Call to Order
- Roll Call
- Review of Previous Minutes
- Open Issues
- New Business
- Team Updates
- Review of Metrics
- Review of Action Items
If possible, distribute your template far enough in advance of your meeting that attendees have an opportunity to review it, ask questions, and carry out any necessary preparation. That way, when it comes time to open the meeting for business, all of your attendees will be ready to hit the ground running.
Call to Order
Formal meetings typically begin with an official call to order which recognizes that the session has begun. Often, this involves stating the date, time, location, company name, and other details to be recorded in the meeting’s official record.
In less formal meetings, this step is typically skipped, and the session begins once all attendees are present and accounted for.
Also used primarily in formal meetings, the roll call states who is present—potentially including their name, department, or affiliation—to be read into the meeting minutes. However, even in informal gatherings, a casual roll call can be an effective way to determine if all expected attendees are present and to ensure everyone knows who’s who in the meeting.
Review of Previous Minutes
Often only used in board meetings and other formal gatherings, this agenda item involves reviewing the minutes that were taken at the group’s last meeting and formally asserting that they’re accurate. If meeting minutes are not regularly taken by the group gathering, this step can be skipped.
Depending on the intent of your meeting, it may be beneficial to review open issues. For example, if you’re holding a marketing team meeting to brainstorm a new campaign, reviewing the results of campaigns that are currently running can provide important context.
On the other hand, if your meeting is being called to address a specific issue—for instance, to share quarterly performance data—there’s no need to set time aside to discuss open issues.
This is the ‘meat’ of your meeting, which can live under a generic ‘New Business’ agenda item, or be broken down into more specific sections. The following are some of the sub-items you may want to include in this section:
- Team Updates: If you have new team members to introduce (or if you need to announce upcoming promotions, transfers, demotions, or departures), address these in your ‘New Business’ item.
- Review of Metrics: Depending on your meeting’s attendees and their responsibilities, they may be tasked with monitoring performance metrics on a regular basis. Review them here, if appropriate.
- Roadblocks: As you discuss new business, allow time for attendees to raise roadblocks that may prevent them from taking action after the meeting so that they can be addressed and resolved appropriately.
- Feedback: Again, depending on your goals, giving or receiving feedback may need to be a part of your meeting’s agenda.
Review of Action Items
Whether your meeting is considered formal or informal, it’s always a good idea to wrap up with a review of the action items you’ve discussed, including:
- What needs to be done
- Who will be responsible for doing it
- When the action items need to be completed
If you’ve designated a person as the meeting’s note-taker, have them send out a summary email after the session sharing these items. Otter can also be useful here as well, as attendees can go back to the meeting’s notes on their own to review the action items and deadlines assigned to them.
Lastly, whether you close your meeting with a formal adjournment or an informal recognition that all planned business is complete, it’s still a good idea to ask attendees one final time whether they have any questions. Even the best meeting planners let things slip through the cracks on occasion. So plan to take a moment to ensure everything has been covered before concluding the session.
Outside of your planned meeting agenda, make sure you allocate time on your calendar to complete any necessary post-meeting activities, such as sharing the Otter notes link to all attendees. If you use Otter Assistant, your notes will automatically share with all participants (saving you a step after the meeting).
To get started using Otter in combination with your team meeting agendas, give Otter Business a try with a 10-day free trial.