I just started managing an established team and am trying to determine what to do with the team meetings over time. On one hand manager tools gives a framework on how the agenda should look. If someone could confirm my understanding, the team meeting should always have the same topics.

Special Topic
Direct 1
Direct 2
Direct 3
And so on.
Parking Lot

Am I correct in my understanding that the agenda shouldn't be a list of every topic but have the topics slotted within the correct parts of the agenda? So basically my agenda looks the same every time, just the content of the meeting changes.

Next, should I make the changes right away, slowly during my first 90 days or wait until 90 days are over to make all the changes.

I don't think I would feel so odd in making these changes right away, but I am trying to figure out the dynamic of how the team meeting is created each week. For example my boss is in the meeting and I get the impression that my boss wants to have a part of each meeting (do I have two waterfalls?) Do I just create the agenda based on what my boss and the senior directs on the team determine should be on the agenda because that is how it was before?

Any suggestions and confirmation of how a team meeting agenda should be built are appreciated.



ses's picture
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I try to put topics on agendas, rather than "$person's turn" because it makes for shorter, more focused meetings in my experience.  Everyone has the chance to add agenda items before the meeting, and we have a five-minute maximum "agenda bashing" at the start of each meeting for any last-minute items.  Then we stick to the agenda, period.

This seems to keep everyone focused on getting a set of things accomplished and then moving on, rather than feeling like they've reported "enough" compared to other people, or going off on tangents.  I like when we can give everyone back the last 22 minutes of what might have been an hour meeting.

Just my two cents,


BeManager's picture

Thanks for the response Susan.

Are you referencing a team meeting or a meeting in general? It makes sense to me that a meeting in general would have an agenda that needs to be reworked everytime you have a new meeting.

For a team meeting it kind of makes sense to me to have a standard (almost unchanged agenda) for a meeting that is weekly and for the same group for the same reason.

Thanks Susan. FYI, I have read lots of the forum topics about team meetings and agendas and most, if not all of them, seem to go against what the podcast goes over... Make me think that maybe I am just misunderstanding the podcast.

ses's picture
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We treat our team meetings the same way.  Each agenda has a template something like this:


[Some header info with date / time / location / attendees / etc]

  1. Agenda Bashing (5 min)
  2. Administrativa (5 min)
  3. Recurring Reports (10 min)
    1. policy exceptions/changes
    2. warnings from automated scans / other tools
    3. new tickets that impact us
      [if one of these warrants more than ~2 min discussion, its entry just points out that it will be discussed under "new business" and it gets an entry there...often, these are empty sets so someone just enters "NTR" for "Nothing To Report" and we skip it.]
  4. Old Business (reasonable estimate)
  5. New Business (reasonable estimate)
  6. Wrap Up (2 min)


Well in advance of each meeting, an agenda is created from the template, with the previous meeting's old and new business (minus anything explicitly closed/completed).  Everyone has access to edit it, so adding "new business" items ahead of time is easy.  Your last chance to edit is during "agenda bashing".  This way, when we sit down we all know what we are going to talk about and the rabbit holes are kept to a minimum.

I haven't gotten to the podcasts on team meetings, so I don't know what they advise, I just know what's working for us.  Note that this is for project team meetings...for "get the entire department together" meetings, things are a bit more formal, simply out of the neccessity of so many people getting together.