An agenda mentions the list of meeting activities in the order in which they are supposed to be conducted, beginning with the call to order and ending with adjournment. An agenda can also be called a Docket, Schedule, or Calendar. It can even contain a listing of an order of business. It is very helpful in conducting a program, meeting, conference or an event. It is usually sent along with the notice of the meeting. It incorporates a list of the topics to be discussed in a meeting. An agenda usually includes one or more specific items of business that need to be acted upon. In business meetings of a deliberative assembly, the items on the agenda are also known as the Orders of the day.
According to Rajendra Pal and Korlahalli – “Agenda is a document that outlines a forthcoming meeting.” It serves several functions before, during and after a meeting.
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How to Manage Your Agenda:
The below-mentioned steps guide you through the many ways you can manage your agenda.
- CREATE AN ROUTINE: No matter what you are working on, be sure create a routine. Block time for specific activities and stick to the plan. Your routine may change throughout the year, but at any given time it is better to have a plan.
- GROUP MEETINGS AND CALLS INTO BLOCKS: For example, if you need to have outside meetings, make sure to block two days in a week just to conduct those meetings. Practice the same thing for the in-office meetings. This way you will be able to allocate time for specific targets and accomplish the work in designated deadlines.
- OPTIMISE TIME FOR DIFFERENT MEETING TYPES: Ten-minute calls are a great way to give someone quick advice. You can do it through Google hangout or Skype if you prefer to see the person rather than just hearing them on phone. Introductory coffee meetings, lunches, and dinners are typically productive and fun. Whatever meetings you hold, group them into blocks, depending on your particular schedule.
- USE APPOINTMENT SLOTS: It is a great feature. It allows you to book the needed amount time and then split it as per the project requirement.
- BLOCK TIME FOR EMAIL: Schedule time for sending the email so that you don’t have to waste the whole day being glued to the screen.
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The benefits of Agenda:
- AGENDA INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY: Agendas must be simple and effective to ensure that a meeting is productive. It prevents wastage of time as it allows participants to focus on key areas of the discussion.
- AGENDAS SOLVE CHALLENGES: An agenda can include a list of challenges that need to be addressed in order to increase productivity. By having a well-defined list of goals and challenges, the participants will contribute actively to find solutions for the same.
- AGENDAS IDENTIFY TOPICS FOE DISCUSSION: Agendas help to identify and mark the issues that need to be discussed. It also eliminates guesswork among the participants as to whether a particular issue is going to be discussed or not.
- AGENDAS SET THE RIGHT TONE: Meeting agendas allow the participants to know that there is a legitimate business purpose for the meeting, with specific issues to be discussed an outcome to be achieved.
- AGENDAS KEEP EVERYONE FOCUSED: Agendas help the participants to remain focused and get the work done efficiently. Agendas also help to keep the participant attentive of the work in hand. It helps to drive each discussion towards a conclusion.
Improve Your Meetings With an Effective Agenda
- Send an email stating that there will be a discussion. Make sure to highlight the goal of the meeting as well as administrative details such as when and where it will be held. Ask the individuals invited to accept or decline the meeting and make it clear that whether they are going to be present or absent from the meeting.
- Contact the participants requesting an agenda item. Ask them to contact you no less than two days before the meeting with their request and amount of time they will need to present it.
- Once all agenda requests are submitted, summarize them in a table format with the headings- Agenda Item, Presenter and Time. It’s your responsibility to ensure that each agenda item is related to the goals of the meeting. You must also be realistic in the amount of time you can allocate to each presenter.
- Send the agenda to all the meeting participants the day before the meeting with a reminder of the meeting goals, location, time and duration.
- The most important part of agenda is to follow it during the meeting.
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Reasons for Choosing Agendas:
There are various reasons to justify the usefulness of choosing agendas. It helps the potential attendees decide what they need to attain. It helps the invitees prepare for the meeting. An agenda provides a structure for a meeting which will be easier to follow during a meeting. Similarly, it allows the chair to control the meeting. Finally, it helps to judge the success and failure of the meeting. A good agenda ensure that the discussion is not only open but also focused, attentive, result oriented and a productive usage of attendees time.
Thus an agenda is an important factor to be used to conduct a meeting. It is a vital part of an organization’s success which allows important meetings to flow in an organized way, thereby saving time, increasing productivity and making the team more proficient.
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