Purpose, Outcomes and Outputs

13th February 2008

I have completely disappeared off this blog for the last couple of months, as I have been publishing my new book (‘Meeting Magic’ available on this page @ £9.99). However, I have reappeared from the mysterious world of book publishing and now vowe to keep this blog more up to date.

Today’s message is about having aligned purpose, outcomes and outputs for meetings. If there is one thing that most meetings would benefit from it is this. What I mean is…

PURPOSE: Why have this meeting? How does it fit with the overall work of this group? What do you want to happen that wouldn’t happen without this meeting?

If the latter question was asked more often I think most meetings would get cancelled 🙂

OUTCOMES: What do want to have achieved by the end of the session?
It is useful to consider the outcomes for both the whole meeting and the separate agenda items. All too often meetings have agendas with no defined outcomes. It is also important to be as specific as possible about the outcomes e.g. if the outcome is ideas for a new project, then how many ideas are needed?

OUTPUTS: What documentation is required after the meeting? who will it got to?how will it be used?
So often time is wasted writing lengthy minutes from meetings that never get read by anyone except the poor unfortunate who got landed with the task of writing them!

And the FINAL CHECK is to make sure that there is alignment between the outputs, outcomes and purpose of a meeting.

When these three things are clear and aligned it is the first step to a successful meeting.