This simple document takes a few minutes to write after each meeting and has countless benefits, and is based on my own experience over the years of “I wish I’d recorded the outcome of that meeting six months ago”.
Take minutes after every phone call and meeting, and share those minutes with all attendees. Your minutes document should be brief and not take a long time to write, but it should include:
- the date and time of the call / meeting.
- names of all attendees of the call / meeting.
- a brief summary of all items discussed.
- a brief summary of all decisions made.
It may be tempting to keep this document to yourself, but that defeats the purpose.
All stakeholders should have full visibility so they have the opportunity to raise any incorrectly recorded decisions, which may even help catch a misunderstanding early.
To name but a few reasons:
- to re-affirm your understanding of the meeting outcomes.
- to mitigate the “you never told us that” scenario, for all parties.
- for future reference should similar topics come up with different team members.
- an audit of the amount of discussion and effort required for a particular project.
- … to help you out of a tricky situation that you’re not even aware of yet.