Small team meetings could either be productive or total waste of time. Team members may come unprepared to share or participate. If your meeting does not have clear goals, objectives, and a clear time frame for each topic, you will surely lose control of the meeting and waste time trying to keep the team on track.
Having a set approach to planning small team meetings will assure that you will set up your meeting to be the most efficient and effective. Here is a quick checklist for planning a small meeting:
Purpose defined: your team meeting should have a purpose. What is the reason for the meeting? What is this meeting going to accomplish? Defining the purpose will even help you determine if a meeting is necessary. Many times there are team meetings called to share updates. This could be accomplished with a simple presentation sent via email. Subjecting project teams to constant update meetings decreases the power of the meeting in general. Save your meeting time for brainstorming, problem solving, etc.
Objective of the team meeting determined: state what the result or outcome of this meeting will produce. For example, you could say that the objective of this meeting is to brainstorm ideas for overcoming the shortage of widgets. If you have several objectives, set time limits for discussing each objective. If the objective is complicated, then use the entire meeting time to resolve it, but try writing an agenda that will keep you on track of the topics you need to cover.
People to attend identified: once you set your objective, then you are able to determine who to invite. If major decisions are going to be made, then invite the right audience.
Checklist of supplies created: you may need flip charts and other items or resources to facilitate the team meeting.
Organize the resources: make sure all resources on your checklist are available and in working order. Make appointments with those you need to meet in order to acquire the resource.
Reserve a place or room: make sure you contact the keeper of the room schedule. Reserve the room well in advance to avoid being blocked from that room. Make sure you get confirmation of the reservation.
Notify the attendees: send a meeting invite to those attending the team meeting with at least a few days’ notice. Try avoiding last-minute meetings. In your message, state the meeting’s purpose, objective and place it will be held. Be professional in your invitation and avoid being too casual.