What is Meeting Minutes?
Minutes refer to the written record or official notes taken during a meeting, conference, or any other formal gathering. They serve as a concise and comprehensive summary of the proceedings, decisions, actions, and discussions that took place during the event. In summary, minutes play a crucial role in capturing the essence of a meeting or gathering, providing an official record, facilitating communication, ensuring accountability, supporting decision-making, and preserving institutional knowledge.
What are Minutes of a Meeting used for? / What are the Functions of Meeting?
The primary functions of minutes are as follows :
- Documentation: Minutes provide an accurate and reliable record of what transpired during a meeting. They document the topics discussed, decisions made, and any relevant information exchanged. Minutes serve as an official historical record that can be referenced in the future.
- Reference and Confirmation: Minutes act as a reference tool for participants, enabling them to recall the details of the meeting accurately. They serve as a means of confirming or clarifying the discussions, agreements, and actions that were undertaken.
- Communication: Minutes facilitate effective communication among attendees who were present at the meeting and those who were unable to attend. They provide an overview of the meeting’s outcomes and allow participants to share relevant information with stakeholders who were not present.
- Accountability: Minutes hold participants accountable for their commitments, decisions, and actions. They establish a documented trail that can be referred to in case of any disputes, misunderstandings, or discrepancies.
- Legal and Compliance Purposes: Minutes serve a legal function by providing evidence of due process and compliance with organizational bylaws, regulations, or legal requirements. They can be used as supporting documents in legal proceedings, audits, or investigations.
- Decision-making Support: Minutes help in the decision-making process by providing a summary of discussions, proposals, and the rationale behind the choices made. They provide a comprehensive overview that aids in evaluating options, tracking progress, and identifying any unresolved issues or follow-up actions.
- Organizational Memory: Minutes contribute to the organizational memory by preserving a record of past events and decisions. They enable continuity and allow new members or employees to gain insights into previous discussions and actions.