Documenting Meetings through Meeting Minutes or a Form

DRAMMAN

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
I am not sure which forum this needs to be in. My question is around the need to document a meeting through meeting minutes or a form. My new employer went crazy a year ago making special forms to document every discussion whenever a procedure states there needs to be a conversation, meeting, discussion, etc. It is a documentation nightmare.

Is it required to document that a meeting or discussion took place through meeting minutes whenever a procedure states that 2 or more people must discuss something?
 
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John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
I am not sure which forum this needs to be in. My question is around the need to document a meeting through meeting minutes or a form. My new employer went crazy a year ago making special forms to document every discussion whenever a procedure states there needs to be a conversation, meeting, discussion, etc. It is a documentation nightmare.

Is it required to document that a meeting or discussion took place through meeting minutes whenever a procedure states that 2 or more people must discuss something?
DRAMMAN,

I agree, having a form for each type of meeting sounds like overkill. But minutes of meeting can be clunky when it comes to extracting the data or information needed from the meeting.

Was this change part of corrective action or the result of someone's whim?

Be guided by how the record is used after the meeting. You may find that a generic form is all you need to capture the essential data and information. Or you may find that is better to mark-up the documents being reviewed.

Process owners should ask the users of their management system what they need. Listen to the process owners instead of imposing unnecessary bureaucracy on them.

John
 

DRAMMAN

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
John, agree with you 100%.

I am not sure how this started. Mostly a bit of internal politics. Would it be a an audit non-conformance if a procedure states a discussion or meeting shold occurr but there are no meeting minutes to prove it occurred. Some were going down the path of "if it is not documented then it did not happen type BS?" I have never really seen this come up in audits. Unless of course a procedure states there must be meeting minutes. I would think an organization should be permitted to determine if formal meeting minutes are needed based on the situation.
 

dsheaffe

Involved In Discussions
#4
I agree with John. Let the process owners decide if minutes are warranted because I know that we have lots of meetings that are basically 'informational'. Generally I doubt that you need meeting minutes for every meeting/conversation/discussion.

As far as the format/content of the minutes. My opinion is that you don't need to have every item minuted as far as who said what to whom. Our approach (and feel free to ignore / disagree) is that there is always an Agenda (even if it is an email saying that we need to have a meeting to discuss A, B, C) - then the minutes are a just list of agreed action items (including responsibilities and dates) as a result of the items discussed from the Agenda.

For a lot of our recurring meetings, we use Excel to record the Agenda/Minutes so we have a complete history of all items discussed in the meeting. Participants add new rows for items that they want discussed in the meeting - and during/after the meeting the spreadsheet is updated to either mark the item as completed (if there were no actions required) or add details to the item about the agreed actions so that these are followed until the action is completed.

A final point - we do have exceptions to the above where we do generate quite formal minutes - but these are only cases where it is warranted (eg, contractual discussions with clients) - so it is "horses for courses" when it comes to what it needed
 

kgott

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
DRAMMAN;551354[COLOR=black said:
My new employer went crazy a year ago making special forms to document every discussion whenever a procedure states there needs to be a conversation, meeting, discussion, etc. It is a documentation nightmare. [/COLOR]

Is it required to document that a meeting or discussion took place through meeting minutes whenever a procedure states that 2 or more people must discuss something?
This situation is a classic case of tradition and custom being the shackles on improvement.

Even an email that summaries what the meeting was about, what was discussed and any decision made is a meeting record, if there needs to be one.

I now use emails for my internal audit reports. After sending them I PDF them and file em. Case closed.
 
I

isoalchemist

#6
John, agree with you 100%.

if a procedure states a discussion or meeting shold occurr but there are no meeting minutes to prove it occurred. Some were going down the path of "if it is not documented then it did not happen type BS?".
Although should is a wiggle word, if a procedure says a meeting is needed, IMHO you need something to show it did occur. With that said not everything requires the procedure to say a meeting should occur, and there are alternative documents to minutes.

If it is important enough to hold a meeting about and decisions are made it should be documented.
 
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