Project Management

5 Questions to Master Minutes and Propel Projects

Ready to be the master of minutes? In his Project Risk Coach blog, Harry Hall reveals the path to successful tracking of action items, risk ownership, and other factors of the typical project meeting that tend to slip through the cracks. He tries to answer five essential questions about recording minutes.

5 Minutes Questions Answered

  1. Who should scribe?
  2. What makes a good scribe?
  3. What should be included in the minutes?
  4. How do you ensure the minutes are accurate?
  5. Where should we store minutes?

Although PMs make the best scribes and facilitators, larger meetings require a degree of delegation. The project meeting is a great opportunity to develop your project administrator / junior project member, and will help them to better grasp the company culture, learn about team dynamics, and come to terms with the project itself. An effective scribe should be an active listener, a good critical thinker, excellent multitasker, and possess organizational skills to boot.

Taking minutes should not be seen as a form of transcription. A minutes report should only incorporate essential elements in the form of a risk register, an action items list, and a list of issues requiring management. It should also try to include what decisions were made (if any) and by whom. Collectively, these items are known as RAID (Risks, Action Items, Issues, Decisions) and should be reviewed regularly during meetings by the project manager or other meeting facilitator. Post-meeting, the minutes should be reviewed again and validated, drafted by the scribe, and then sent to the PM who reviews and edits the minutes before sending them to all relevant team members and stakeholders.

Try to ensure that your minutes are accessible to all team members at all times. If you’re going to transfer RAID to a project information system, they should be easy to retrieve, the system simple to navigate.

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Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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