7 Tips for Productive Planning Meeting That Everyone Will Love

If you're feeling like your team's planning meetings have become a tad bit stagnant, fear not! With a few simple tips, you can breathe new life into them, turning a snooze-fest into a productive and energizing session that everyone will love. From creating a positive environment to thinking outside the box, you'll quickly be on the way to a successful planning meeting in no time. Are you ready?

7 Tips for Productive Planning Meeting That Everyone Will Love

Intro: what is a planning meeting?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks you need to get done? Do you have trouble deciding what to do first, or what can wait? If you're feeling like you need to get your life more organized, then you might benefit from attending a planning meeting. How about a quick overview of what it is and how it can benefit your organization?

Defining the purpose

In general, planning meetings are a great way to get yourself organized and identify priorities. At such an event, you'll sit down with a group of people and discuss what needs to be done and how best to do it. You'll also have the opportunity to ask for help and advice from other members of the group. Planning meetings can be used to develop all sorts of plans, from event and business planning to preparing a new project. No matter what kind of plan you're trying to create, holding such a meeting can be a helpful way to get everyone on the same page and make sure everyone is on board with the strategy.

Finding the true meaning of planning meetings

It's no doubt that planning meetings can be a drag. You sit in a room with your colleagues, staring at a whiteboard, and trying to figure out what needs to be done. It can feel like a complete waste of time, especially when you're not sure what the point of it all is.

But there's actually a lot of value in the planning process if you know how to deal with it correctly. Here are some major benefits:

  • Help you align with your co-workers
  • Figure out the best way to do things
  • Make sure everyone stays in the loop
  • Help spot potential problems early on
  • Encourage coming up with creative solutions
  • Provide a chance for meeting attendees to team up
  • Increase productivity by ensuring everyone is aware of their tasks and deadlines

The different types of planning meetings

If you've never organized a planning meeting, you may be surprised that there are different types of these events. Here is a quick overview of the most popular ones:

Sprint planning meeting

The first step in any project is to sit down with your team and hash out a plan. That's where sprint planning comes in. It is held at the beginning of each sprint and lasts for no more than two hours. During this meetup, the product owner and the scrum team discuss the product backlog and plan the work for the upcoming sprint.

This type of meeting is important because it sets the tone for the entire sprint. It's a time for co-workers to come together and decide what they're going to commit to for the next two weeks. The product owner presents the product backlog, and the team decides which items they can complete during the sprint.

All in all, it's a great option for colleagues to ask questions, get clarification, and make sure everyone's on the same page.

Read more about this meeting type here.

Business planning meeting

Do you know where business plans are created and discussed? At a business planning meeting. The purpose of this event is to develop a shared vision for the company and create a plan to achieve specific goals. As for the participants, all members of the board should be present. This includes the CEO, CFO, and other senior executives. What do they usually discuss? Things like setting goals, researching the market, and creating a budget. This meeting is a chance for everyone to share their ideas and come up with a plan that will help the business grow.

Strategic planning meeting

This type of event is typically held to determine the overall direction of the organization. The company executives and other key stakeholders gather to discuss the company's mission, vision, and values and set the business strategy for the upcoming year.

The event is usually led by the CEO or other senior leaders and typically lasts for one or two days. During it, the attendees discuss the company's current situation, its goals, and how to keep moving forward. They also identify any obstacles in the way and create a plan to overcome them. By the end of the session, the participants should have a clear understanding of the company's direction and how to get there.

Event planning meeting

Looking for an inspiring and fun way to get everyone on the same mind for an upcoming event? Just host an event planning session! It's a chance for the event planner to share their vision with the team and get everyone's input on how to make the event a success. The meeting should be creative and interactive, with plenty of opportunities for every team member to share their ideas. The event planner should come prepared with a list of questions to help guide the discussion. And of course, snacks are always a welcome addition to any get-togethers: team-building meetups or holiday parties.

7 tips for running an effective planning meeting

1) Have a clear objective for the event

The goal of every planning meeting should be clear: to establish what and when needs to be done. This might sound like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how often people go into a planning meeting without a clear objective in mind. This can lead to the gathering dragging on without any real progress being made.

As the person leading the appointment, it's your job to make sure everyone knows the goal and stays on track. One way to do this is to write the objective down on a whiteboard (real or virtual) and refer to it throughout the session.

Once you have a clear goal, your chances of having a successful meeting increase many times over.

2) Prepare check-in questions

Asking these questions at the start of your meetup can help to set the tone and keep everyone engaged. Here are some good examples:

  • What has gone well since our last meeting?
  • What challenges have you faced?
  • What progress have you made toward our goals?
  • What tasks are you working on?
  • What can we do to help each other?

By analyzing the answers to these questions beforehand, you can get a better sense of where everyone is at and what needs to be discussed.

3) Keep it short and sweet

If you've ever been to a planning session that felt like it dragged on forever, you know how crucial it is to keep things moving. But there is a simple way to make planning sessions more effective - keep them short. A good rule of thumb is to aim for no more than 30 minutes. This may seem like a short amount of time, but you'd be surprised how much can be accomplished in a short gathering if everyone is focused. By the way, Slack conducted a study in which it confirmed the ideal length of a regular meeting is 15-30 minutes. But this time can vary depending on the type of appointment.

4) Encourage creativity and out-of-the-box thinking

Another great approach to making planning sessions more productive is to welcome creativity. Here are a few tips to do this:

  • Encourage employees to share their ideas, even if they seem strange or far-fetched
  • Welcome dissenting opinions and foster open discussion
  • Foster employees to think outside the box and consider unconventional solutions
  • Take breaks during the meeting to allow the participants to step away from the discussion and clear their heads
  • Allow time for people to brainstorm and play around with ideas
  • Create an environment where it's okay to take risks

5) Save time for ice breakers

If you're looking to add a little life to your next meeting, try starting with an ice breaker. It can help create a more relaxed and open atmosphere, which can lead to more productive conversations. Plus, they're just a lot of fun.

Here are some good ones:

  • Have everyone choose a song that represents their mood for the meeting. Then, have everyone share their song and why they chose it.
  • Go around the room and have everyone share one thing they're looking forward to in the next month.
  • Have everyone share an interesting fact about themselves.
  • Play a game of two truths and a lie. Have everyone share three things about themselves, two of which are true and one of which is a lie. Others should guess which one is a lie.

6) Use special services

These days there are many cool and reliable apps for planning and hosting various types of meetings, from small one-on-one calls to large international video conferences. They are a great option for those who want to save money on travel, office rent, and other expenses related to office work. What's more, they have a lot of useful features inside, like video and audio conferencing, screen sharing, AI-based touch-up tools, virtual backgrounds, and cloud recordings. Some of our favorite apps are:

7) Follow up after the meeting

Your team just had a productive planning meeting and you're feeling good about the direction your project is going. But now what? To make sure all that good work doesn't go to waste, you need to follow up after the event with a clear plan of action. Here are a few tips on how to do that effectively:

  • Send out meeting minutes as soon as possible
  • Assign specific tasks to specific people and set deadlines for those tasks
  • Make sure to schedule regular check-ins to track progress and make adjustments when needed

Ready-to-use templates for successful meetings

There's no need to start from scratch when planning your next get-together. With these ready-to-use templates, you can hit the ground running and get more done in less time. All you need to do is to choose the right template for your needs, add in your own details, and you're ready to go. No muss, no fuss.

1) Meeting announcement template

You’re invited!

 

[MEETING NAME]

WHEN:

[Date]

TIME:

[Time]

WHERE:

[Location]

 

Want to know more? Come to a meeting!

Your attendance is important for us.

 

Our Plan:

[Time]

Item 1

[Time]

Item 2

[Time]

Item 3

[Time]

Item 4

 

All your questions are welcomed throughout the meeting. We’ll also set aside some time in the end of the meeting to answer all the remaining questions.

 

For more information, please, feel free to contact [name, email]

 

Best regards,

[Name]

Find more templates here: Let's Define Announcements

2) Meeting agenda template

[MEETING NAME] AGENDA

 

Location:

[Location]

Date:

[Date]

Time:

[Time]

 

AGENDA ITEMS

 

Start Time - End Time

Description

Speaker

     
     
     
     

 

Additional Information:

[Add additional information and comments here]

Find more templates here: Learning the Definition: Agenda

3) Meeting minutes template

[MEETING NAME] MINUTES

 

Date:

[Date]

Time:

[Time]

Facilitator:

[Company Name]

Location:

[Location]

 

1) Meeting Objectives:

  • Objective 1
  • Objective 2
  • Objective 3

 

2) Participants:

 

Name:

Department:

E-mail:

Phone:

       
       
       
       

 

3) Meeting Agenda:

 

Topic:

Speaker:

Time:

     
     
     
     

 

4) Documents:

 

Description:

Prepared by:

   
   
   

 

Find more templates here: Defining the Meaning: Minutes

4) Follow-up email template

Hello [First name],

 

Thank you for your interest in [Product/Service]. I wanted to reach out and see if you had any questions or if there was anything we could do to help you get started.

 

If you're not already using our product/service, I invite you to try it out. I think you'll find it to be a valuable addition to your toolset.

 

Thank you for your time and have a great day!

 

[Your name]

Find more templates here: Everything You Should Know about a Follow-Up Email

Plan it well

Planning is a critical part of any successful business. But all too often, planning meetings are seen as something that's just necessary to get through, rather than an opportunity to make real progress.

If you want your planning get-togethers to be productive and effective, follow our tips from this blog post. That way, you can ensure your meetups are nothing short of valuable use of your time. Good luck!

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