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GOOD MEETING PRACTICE – Key to efficient time usage

The project manager sends out invitations to the meetinga setting out the date and time, venue, time required for the meeting, subject, and the meeting agenda. Possible advance material needs to be distributed well before the meeting. An efficient meeting is well planned and it requires preparations.

The chairman of the meeting is chosen at the beginning of the meeting to chair the meeting and a secretary to keep a record of the meeting. The chairman can be the project manager or the chairmanship can be rotated. The duties of secretary are often rotated and they vary each time. The matters to be dealt with treated in the order set out in the agenda. The secretary records the matters dealt with in the meeting and draws up a a memorandum (see muistio), copies of which she then sends to the members of the project group, e.g. by email. The memoranda are also filed in the project binder.

The chairman has an important role in meetings. The chairman’s tasks are to chair the meeting and to keep the discussion on the subject matter, and to make interim summaries. On the basis of the discussions held in the meeting, the chairman summarises the discussions, formulates decisions, informs the participants when the decision will be implemented, who is responsible for the implementation of the decision, and when the following meeting will be held.

Records will be made of formal meetings, but usually an informal memorandum is enough for project group meetings. Invitations to meetings, agendas and records/memorands are archived in the project binder.

An example of the progress of an efficiently conducted meeting:

1. ”Letting off steam”, chatting for approx. 5 – 10 min.

2. Defining of objectives (= agenda), drawing up of the rules for meeting procedure, approx. 10 min.

3. Cooperation-based working.

4. Assessment of objectives and rules, approx. 5-10 min.

5. Planning of what is to come: Interim tasks and agenda for the following meeting, approx. 5-10 min.

(Leppilampi, 2002.)