Meeting Summary/Minutes document information communicated at meetings. This documentation may well be one of the most important elements in expectation management. Direction from the Client as well as decisions regarding various design elements are often made during meetings.
The most common forms of documentation are the Meeting Summary or Meeting Minutes. As the name implies, a Meeting Summary covers, in a topical way, the matters that were discussed and decisions reached, followed by further action that is required. Meeting Minutes are a more detailed coverage of the meeting in which the matters that were discussed are presented in the order in which they were discussed or re-discussed, followed by further action that is required. Unless greater detail is needed, as when claims or possible litigation are anticipated, generally, the Meeting Summary is used. The following are suggestions for effective meeting documentation.
1. When the project manager is to lead a meeting, one or more other persons from that firm should attend the meeting. Prior to the meeting, the person responsible for taking notes should be identified. It should be determined beforehand whether a Meeting Summary or Meeting Minutes is to be prepared.
2. Consideration should be given to recording meetings, especially if Meeting Minutes are to be prepared. Relatively inexpensive digital recording devices that download directly to a computer are well suited for the recording. Attendees should be advised at the beginning of the meeting that the meeting will be recorded.
3. Scanning and attaching the Sign-In Sheet to the Meeting Summary/Minutes, and referencing it as identifying the attendees is an efficient way to document who attended the meeting.
4. Draft Meeting Summary/Minutes should be routed to the attendees for comments/confirmation. A cutoff date for receipt of comments should be identified. Once comments have been resolved, finalized Meeting Summary/Minutes should be distributed to all attendees.
Be aware that although a Meeting Summary/Minutes can be good documentation of direction received, changes in the scope, schedule, or budget, should be further documented in a Contract Amendment signed by both parties.
A sample Meeting Summary is available at the Lowe Consulting, LLC. Website – See the Book Tab.