Develop effective meeting agendas

Developing an agenda for meetings helps limit inefficiency and may even prevent unnecessary meetings (if you can’t fill an agenda, don’t meet!). Here are some tips:

  • Keep the agenda focused: At the top of the agenda, write down the purpose or goals of the meeting. Try writing the purpose or goals in the form of a question to signal to meeting attendees that you would like input.
  • Put important items at the top of the agenda: This will ensure that the most important items of business are discussed.
  • Identify discussion leaders: The agenda should identify who will lead discussion of each agenda item. This structure ensures the participation of key individuals and encourages others to get involved.
  • Limit discussion times: In addition to setting a time frame for the meeting, note time limits for each agenda item. Doing so will help keep the discussion focused and moving.
  • Identify routine items: The agenda should identify routine items such as brief announcements and reminders. Just because items are routine, don’t leave them off the agenda.
  • Identify action items: Action items should relate to the primary topics of discussion. Physician leaders must plan ahead of time how to manage debates and decision-making for these items.
  • Prepare materials: Notify participants of any preparation they need to do before the meeting and distribute required reading ahead of time.


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