RE: Taking Minutes at Meetings

Subject: RE: Taking Minutes at Meetings
From: "Tasha Lennhoff" <tlennhoff -at- open -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 13:54:13 -0500

I've found that taking meeting minutes made me/my staff an invaluable to the
company in ways we never expected when we implemented taking meeting
minutes. It doesn't have to be demeaning as long as you make sure that you
are careful about how you write up the minutes and what else you agree to
do - send the minutes through e-mail/post on an intranet - do not make
copies for the follow-up meetings, don't take on other "secretarial" tasks.
Make sure that taking the meeting minutes does not change your status to
"secretary" by being very clear about your role. By taking the meeting
minutes you may find that you are included in more meetings, with less
hassle than before. You may get new information about the product and its
changes faster than you have in the past. People may make more of an effort
to make sure you are in the loop. We captured specific items in the
meetings and not the meeting itself (not Jim said this, John said this)
which gave them a profession but not secretarial feel.

We would distribute the meeting minutes to all meeting attendees,
engineering managers, and some times marketing, product management, and
other groups that had a stake in the final product. By increasing the
communication between the various groups through the meeting minutes we
decreased the number of last minute changes to the product. While this was
never a "favorite" job responsibility of my staff or myself, everyone agreed
after trying for 3 months that it was worth continuing.

We included the following information:

Single Time Meetings
Include:
* Name of meeting
* Date and time of meeting
* List of attendees
* Legend - symbols and what they mean
* = Item of discussion
? = Action item/Issue
- * Deadline of action item
- * Who is responsible for action item
! = resolved
* Purpose of meeting

Reoccurring Meetings
Include:
* Name of meeting
* Date and time of meeting
* List of attendees
* Legend - symbols and what they mean
* = Item of discussion
? = Action item/Issue
- * Deadline of action item
- * Who is responsible for action item
! = resolved

Process:
* Have minutes reviewed by technical writing manager and/or meeting leader
before sending out for general distribution - this prevents political
"oops."
* Send out to meeting distribution list with a cc to the "R&D Managers" and
other relevant managers

Good luck. -tasha

Tasha Lennhoff
OpenService, Inc.
http://www.open.com
mailto:tlennhoff -at- open -dot- com

"After all, when you come right down to it, how many people speak the same
language even when they speak the same language?" Russell Hoban

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-56674 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-56674 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Carol Anne
T. Wall
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2001 11:03 AM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: Taking Minutes at Meetings

>>We've just be instructed by management that we are to take minutes at the
meetings at the meetings we attend. These meetings generally discuss
business requirements and outstanding issues for the projects we work
on. The meetings also cover items that do not go into the documentation we
develop and frequently include task updates and assignments.>>


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