How to Write a Meeting Agenda [Free Template & Examples]
When you and your team have work to do, meetings can feel like a big waste of time—especially if you walk away with no clear sense of accomplishment.
A simple meeting agenda helps keep meetings on track by setting clear expectations about what needs to get done in your limited time together. It also ensures every person who attends understands their role at the table so they come prepared for the discussion.
If you want your meetings to be successful, never skip the agenda!
In this article, we’ll review the basics of how to create a meeting agenda, plus share a free agenda template with examples you can use for key project meetings.
How to write an agenda for a meeting
Creating a meeting agenda may take some work on your part as the meeting organizer. But if you do your due diligence ahead of time, that work will go a long way in helping you facilitate a productive meeting.
Follow these 3 simple steps to write an agenda for your next meeting:
1. Consider your meeting’s purpose and people
While it’s good to be flexible about your agendas, your meeting agenda should communicate a few core details. Here are some things you need to be clear about when creating a meeting agenda:
- What’s the goal of the meeting? Think about the purpose of your meeting and any concrete decisions or action items that need to come out of it. If you don’t have a clear goal, there’s no need for the meeting.
- Who needs to attend the meeting? If someone on your list won’t actively contribute to the discussion, they don’t need to come. Only invite folks who truly need to be there to accomplish the goal so you don’t leave the meeting with outstanding conversations or decisions.
- What do attendees need to know or prepare? Your meeting will be more productive if people come prepared. So give attendees the information they need to help you meet the goal, with time to digest important documents beforehand. Be sure to note who’s responsible for leading or presenting each topic on your agenda.
- What are the limitations around your time? Consider how to get the work done in the least amount of time without compromising the quality of decisions. Set boundaries around what will take place during your allotted time by outlining the topics—and time limits—for your discussion.
2. Assemble the elements into a simple meeting agenda
Once you’ve thought through these questions, it’s time to create your meeting agenda. Here’s a list of basic elements every meeting agenda should include:
- Meeting name
- Meeting date and time
- Meeting location
- Full list of attendees
- Agenda, including time, topic of discussion, and person responsible (if applicable)
- Notes for preparation
- Attachments (if applicable)
3. Get ideas and input from others
A meeting agenda should reflect the needs and goals of everyone at the table. That’s why it’s important to take other ideas into account—especially if you’re scheduling a long or critical project meeting.
Share a draft of your meeting agenda with some of your team members or leads to give them input into the meeting format. You can use TeamGantt’s discussion feature to collaborate on those details before distributing the final meeting agenda to attendees.
Use our free template to create your next meeting agenda
The best way to be clear about these things is to spell them out. So we created a simple meeting agenda template to make it easy for you to communicate all the important details before your next meeting.
Feel free to adapt this meeting agenda format to your own needs. Just keep in mind that the more information you can provide, the clearer the meeting’s purpose and expected outcomes will be.
Download our free meeting agenda template in Google Sheets.
4 meeting agenda examples for project management
Now that you have a simple meeting agenda format to start with, let’s walk through how you might apply this template to common project meetings.
Project kickoff meeting agenda example
Kickoff meetings lay the path for project success. It’s where expectations get set, teams align around goals and deliverables, and plans and strategy take shape.
One thing you’ll want to decide as you craft your agenda is how long your kickoff meeting should last. The timing can vary anywhere from 1 hour to a few days. It really just depends on the scope of your project, the needs of your team, and how much you need to get done in the meeting.
For example, if your team has worked together on similar projects in the past, you might not need as much time as if you’re taking on completely new work with people who are just getting to know each other.
Want to brainstorm ideas and engage stakeholders in goal-setting and solutioning? You might build a multi-day agenda with mini kickoff workshops.
This kickoff meeting agenda example is super-simple, but it offers some basics you can build from as you create an agenda of your own.
Project kickoff meeting agenda
10:00-10:15: Team introductions
10:15-10:45: Review project goals and intended outcomes
10:45-11:15: Review scope and task budgets
11:15-11:45: Preliminary planning and deadlines
Standup meeting agenda example
Standup meetings give your team a regular touchpoint to discuss project progress. The idea is to keep it quick—usually around 15 minutes.
You can meet daily, weekly, or somewhere in between. Try to find a rhythm that enables your team to stay in sync without taking too much time away from the actual project work.
The standup meeting agenda format is simple. Everyone on the team takes turns giving a 1-2 minute update on their work by sharing what they did yesterday, what they’re doing today, and any blockers or issues standing in the way of progress.
Here’s an example of a standup meeting agenda following this format.
Standup meeting agenda
8:45 am: Quick announcements
8:47 am: Individual team member updates (1-2 minutes each)
- What I did yesterday
- What I’m doing today
- What issues or blockers stand in my way of making progress
8:59 am: Wrap-up
Feel free to start each standup meeting with quick project announcements and close with a little fun to lighten the mood before everyone buckles down to do the work. If side topics pop up between team members, table those discussions for later to keep the meeting moving along.
Project status meeting agenda example
A status meeting provides a regular touchpoint for your team and stakeholders to check in on progress and discuss what’s happening. It’s an easy way to keep everyone plugged into—and aligned on—the plan.
We recommend producing a weekly status report to guide your meeting. This not only ensures important details get documented and discussed. It also makes creating your meeting agenda super-easy!
Here’s an example of how you might take the high-level points from your status report and turn them into a meeting agenda:
Project status meeting agenda
9:05-9:25: Project status summary
- What happened last week
- What’s coming up next
- Timeline completion
- Budget status
9:25-9:40: Next steps and action items
9:40-9:55: Open risks and issues
9:55-10:00: Wrap-up and next steps
Project post-mortem meeting agenda example
A project post-mortem meeting brings your team together after a project is done to assess what went well and what went wrong. It’s a great way to identify process gaps and action steps to improve how you work together to deliver projects.
A typical post-mortem meeting lasts anywhere from 60–90 minutes, depending on the size of your team and complexity of the project. Gathering feedback from your team before the meeting and creating a tightly structured meeting agenda will ensure the discussion stays on track and productive.
In the following meeting agenda sample, we’ve set aside time to cover a few ground rules before diving into the primary questions we want to reflect on as a team.
Project post-mortem meeting agenda
2:00-2:05: Welcome and project overview
2:05-2:10: Post-mortem meeting ground rules
2:10-2:25: What worked well?
2:25-2:40: What needs improvement?
2:40-2:55: What actions can we take to make the next project better?
We kept this agenda example simple. But feel free to get more detailed based on key themes that come up in pre-meeting surveys or other project questions you want to explore as a team.
Additional resources for project meetings
Want to learn more about running better project meetings? We’ve got you covered! Check out these free resources and templates:
- How to Get the Most Out of Meetings
- Time Limit: Facilitating Productive Meetings with Rich Maltzman and Jim Stewart
- Run Better Meetings with These 4 Facilitation Tricks
- Project Post-Mortem Meeting Tips & Template
- Project Status Report Tips & Template
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