A meeting is a gathering that is brought together to achieve a common goal. Agenda and minutes are both important parts of a meeting. Agenda acts as guidelines for the discussion of a meeting, while minutes outline exactly what was discussed in the meeting.
Agenda Vs. Minutes
The main distinguishing factor is that Agenda is a listing of the topic to discuss in a meeting, and it is prepared before the meeting commences. At the same time, minutes are outlines of what actually transpired in the meeting. It’s usually written after the meeting has ended.
Agenda is a list outline of what needs to be discussed in the meeting. It is sent out to every member to give them an idea of what the meeting it’s going to be about. This helps the members to gather their thoughts and ideas well. The chairman is the only person in the group that approves the agenda.
On the other hand, minutes are detailed records of what transpired in the meeting. They are topics that were discussed and are created after the meeting has ended. The committee secretary will create the minutes and send them out to other members for approval. It will then go out to the chairman to confirm it after getting approval from the members.
What is an Agenda?
An agenda is a listed plan of what topics and activities need to be discussed in a meeting. The secretary creates the agenda before the meeting and sends it to all the members. The agenda is always written in the future tense, prepared before the meeting commences.
Vital Aspects that should Never Miss in an Agenda
- Topic Description
- Name of group members
- Time Frame distributed to each topic
The Need for An Agenda
- Outlining Objectives-an agenda serves as a good medium to explain the objectives of the meeting. There would be chaos in a meeting if these objectives are not utilized properly. In a nutshell, the agenda of a meeting solves this problem.
- Ample Time to Prepare-as it is prepared before the meeting commences, it gives group members ample time to prepare for the meetings. Members are able to gather their ideas and thoughts beforehand. Thereby ensuring their points are driven across correctly.
- Maintaining Focus-the agenda will streamline meetings to focus on what needs to be done. Ensuring you don’t waste a lot of time.
What are Minutes?
Minutes of meeting, popularly known for minutes, are a detailed outline of what transpired in a meeting. The secretary prepares it after the conclusion of a meeting. The minutes are written in the past tense, unlike the agenda that takes the future tense. This is because the document is prepared after the meeting has ended.
Vital Aspects that should Never Miss in Minutes
- Date and time of the meeting
- Name of group members
- The topic discussed in the meeting- should be in detail
- Final decision taken
Importance of Minutes
- Legal protection and proof-it outline all topics discussed in detail, and if there are any legal formalities needed, then the minutes would act as proof.
- Offers Guidance-before the commencement of a second meeting, the minutes of the previous meeting is read to provide guidance. The group members will be up to date on what was discussed and conclusions made. It gives group members an edge to not repeat what was already discussed.
- Comes in handy after making changes needed after what have been discussed in the meeting
- Save time as everyone what role they play.
- If you are a member and missed the meeting, you’ll know what has been discussed thanks to the minutes
Difference between Agenda and Minutes
- It’s a detailed plan of events that need to be discussed in a meeting. It’s a document that shows what needs to be discussed. while minutes are detailed happenings of what transpired in the meeting
- Agenda is useful as it lets the chairman and members of a group know what is going to be discussed in the meeting beforehand. On the other hand, Minutes acts a proof of what the meeting was all about
- The agenda is written by the secretary and distributed to group members only when the chairman gives the go-ahead. While the Minutes is written after the meeting by the secretary, distributed to the members, and then the chairman confirms it.
- Agenda does not have a book where the agenda is written where minutes are only written in a book called the book of minutes.
- The agenda uses future tense because it is written before the meeting commences, while minutes use the past tense because it is written after the meeting has already happened.
The factors are important when it comes to meetings. The agenda sets the foundation of the meeting while the minutes close capture of a meeting. Agenda will keep you in the best position for the chairman and group members to know the topic that needs to be discussed. They are able to gather their ideas and thoughts around the topic.
On the other side, minutes come in handy to any member that missed the meeting. They will be able to know what happened during the meeting making these two items very important in every meeting setting.