Your meeting is over and it is now time to take stock.... Was the meeting a success? Were established goals and objectives reached? What follow-up steps remain? A timely, well planned "post meeting review" will provide all these answers - delivering a relevant, reliable path to continuous improvement for all types of meetings. Read on to learn more.
Of all the steps taken to plan, prepare and hold a business meeting, the most strategic work may very well take place after the physical meeting has ended. As a meeting leader, you must be able to evaluate the results achieved, to follow-up on pending action items, and to plan better meetings in the future. Every meeting is a process, and evaluation makes the process complete. Hopefully, your meeting was held with a purpose, and it is now time to see whether that purpose was met. If the purpose was not met, then you need to look carefully at the process you followed for meeting planning and preparation. Did the meeting fail to meet its purpose because of poor planning, a lack of preparation, bad timing, participant issues, or was the meeting inappropriate from the start? Whatever the cause, you need to know -- and you can find out with a few basic steps and key questions.
An effective post meeting assessment relies on accurate information and a fully comprehensive analysis of four (4) key "performance" factors: meeting results, meeting process, participation/tone, and "next steps". As the review is executed, specific "assessment" questions must be addressed (per factor), utilized to measure and evaluate overall meeting performance. The goal is to determine whether or not all key needs and expectations were fulfilled.
Once all assessment factors and variables have been considered, and "performance" has been analyzed, it's time to put the results to use as "lessons learned". In the meeting context, "lessons" can be applied to improve the way meetings are scheduled, planned, conducted and documented (including the preparation of meeting materials and minutes.
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