Drafting Minutes of a Meeting and ATR

Once a meeting is underway, one must keep two important tasks in mind – drafting the Minutes of Meeting and the Action Taken Report or ATR (after a few days). In this article, we will take a closer look at the Minutes of Meeting and ATR.

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Minutes of Meeting (MoM)

minutes of meeting

Minutes are the instant written records of a meeting. They describe the events of the meeting and usually include a list of the participants, a statement of the issues considered by the participants, responses, and decisions made. Drafting the minutes of the meeting is important for the following reasons:

  • Different participants have different recollections of the meeting
  • Participants can have different interpretations of the action plan
  • Some participants might forget important tasks
  • It is a written record available for reference at any time
  • It can also be required for legal reasons

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Steps in Writing Minutes of Meeting

It is important to take complete and appropriate minutes of the meeting. Follow these steps:

  • Take a copy of the agenda of the meeting as a guideline to take notes and draft the minutes of the meeting
  • Keep the order and numbering of items the same as that on the agenda
  • Take note of all the participants of the meeting in advance
  • File all the documents and handouts given during the meeting
  • Be clear about the details expected from the minutes of meeting (MoM)

It is important to understand the type of information expected from the minutes of the meeting. Usually, the points covered are:

  • The date and time of the meeting
  • Names of the participants of the meeting along with the absentees
  • Amendments and corrections with reference to the minutes of the previous meetings
  • The decisions about each item on the agenda
  • The future plan of action
  • The date and time of the next meeting

Suggestions for Taking Notes

  1. Keep a format or a structure ready
  2. Before the meeting starts, make a note of the main points of discussion on the agenda. By doing so, you can simply jot down the details of the discussion, decisions, etc.
  3. Keep a record of all the attendees and the absentees as well
  4. In case of any ambiguity, ask for clarifications
  5. Remember, you cannot capture the complete proceedings of the meeting. Focus on the important points and jot down the important steps as clearly as possible
  6. You can also record the meeting on your phone or any other recording device. However, ensure that all participants are aware that you are recording the meeting

The Process of Writing the Minutes of Meeting

As soon as the meeting is over, you can start writing the minutes. Here are some tips for writing the minutes:

  • Don’t put it off for later and try to write the minutes while the details are still fresh in your mind
  • Once you have finished writing it, go through it again
  • If necessary, recheck the details with the concerned participants to ensure that you have noted the details correctly
  • If the meetings are lengthy and long-drawn, then ensure that you note down all important details. More so, if deliberations have taken place
  • Ensure that you keep all notes concise and clear
  • Keep the grammar and sequence proper
  • Avoid the inclusion of any conflicts or personal comments – stay objective
  • Attach any reference material as required

Sharing the Minutes of Meeting

Most organizations circulate the minutes of meetings with relevant employees. However, before sharing the minutes, ensure that it is reviewed and approved by the appropriate authority. Minutes are shared either as hard copies or via email.

Filing the Minutes of Meeting

Once the minutes are prepared and circulated, they are stored for future reference. The filing can be done in files or in hard drives.

Action Taken Report (ATR)

The Action Taken Report (ATR) is compiled after a few days from the date of the meeting. It states the various actions based on the discussions in the meeting. It is usually submitted after a gap of around 5-7 days after the meeting is over. This ensures that there is adequate time to act on the matters discussed in the report.

Solved Question on MoM and ATR

Q1. Why is it important to record the Minutes of Meeting?

Answer: It is important to record the Minutes of Meeting due to the following reasons:

  • Attendees can have different recollections of the meeting
  • Multiple possible interpretations of the action plan
  • Participants might forget important tasks
  • It is good to have a written record available at any time for reference
  • Some legal issues might require the minutes
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