An agenda is a list of activities in meetings in the order in which they are to be dealt with, starting with the call for orders and concluding with the adjournment. This typically involves one or more specific business items to operate on. It may include specific times for one or more tasks but is not needed to. A docket, timetable, or calendar may also be called an agenda. It may also include a description of a business order. An agenda may be headed with the meeting date, time and location, accompanied by a set of points detailing the order in which the business is to be carried out.
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Importance of An Agenda
1. Reduces Wasted Time and Resources
As a supervisor, you know that there are genuine reasons for having frequent, impromptu meetings. You probably have to make announcements about your business, or issues to go over and correct. When an agenda is formed, everyone can turn their attention to the matters at hand. Attendees have a written list of what the conference is about to achieve. This also allows them to come up with related issues. If someone decides to leave the meeting early, getting an agenda will help them know what will be covered. When they then need to catch up with you to fill in the blanks, they will have a general idea of what was spoken about.
2. Allows Other Speakers to Prepare
It is courteous to have an agenda for other guests you may have included in the meeting. It can also allow invited speakers to brace themselves for when and what they will be talking about.
3. Encourages Participation
An agenda provides a clear outline of what is to be addressed in the meeting. With this outline, the employees will feel freer to be involved. Involve time for questions and answers about what has been discussed. In addition, add a line item to the agenda for the members to raise issues they consider important. These are more loyal and efficient when workers feel respected and motivated.
4. Keeps You on Track
One of the most important thing that an agenda helps to do is to keep track of the discussion. It’s much easier to stop wasting time, stay focused and get back on track when you have to reference the topic items in front of you.
5. Ensures Important Topics are Covered
You will be able to reduce the amount of meetings that everyone attends by ensuring they addressed all the important issues. The best way to do that is through a timetable. Meetings are a necessary and important aspect of work when you are in management. Therefore being able to run a meeting is a must. And to run a meeting properly you need to make an agenda.
How to Develop an Effective Agenda?
Step 1: Determine the Purpose of the Meeting
You need to decide the meeting’s intent before you can start creating the meeting’s agenda. The meeting’s aim will decide the agenda’s content. In general, there are four groups of meetings, depending on the purpose of the meeting. This involves meetings on details, decision-making, creativity, and sales. The agenda is different from that for every meeting.
Step 2: Decide the Date, Time and Location
The first few elements that should be included in the meeting agenda are simple basics. This includes the name, address, and contact information of the organization holding the meeting. This is to be followed by the date, time and location of the meeting. These details are mandatory unless the organization protocol says otherwise.
Step 3: Determine the People Needed
Not all meetings require all the employees to be in the present for the meeting. This is why you need need to identify the people you’d need to meet. In general, this will be determined based on the type of meeting to be held. The same should be listed on the meeting’s agenda once you know who all are needed for the meeting.
Step 4: Determine the Topics to be Discussed
The issues to be discussed are decided based on the type of meeting to be held. For instance, if it is a decision-making meeting, then it is necessary to discuss the subject or the subjects to be agreed on. When you have determined what topics are to be discussed in the meeting, you can add them to the agenda.
Step 5: Organize the Elements to be Included
When you have decided what to include in the agenda of your meeting, you need to get all those elements organized. It is advised to start with breaking down the topics to be discussed into smaller more manageable ones. This will help you to prioritize them. After that, you can proceed to make the agenda. Make sure that once you have made it, you sent it to every required person at least a week before the meeting.
Features of An Agenda
- The general rule is to send the agenda with the meeting notice.
- It is published at the end of the meeting either before or after the chairperson’s signature.
- It is structured according to the sense of the end.
- The controversial topics are to be written at the end of the agenda.
- The subjects to be discussed are decided by the individual communicating with the meeting’s higher authority.
- It needs to be written concisely but explicitly.