Home > Articles

This chapter is from the book

Meeting Tools

A meeting is a structured communication form. Although meetings can have widely varying formats and purposes, there are common tools, techniques, and artifacts to govern the structure and ensure that a meeting executes according to its plan. Among these tools are timeboxing, agenda-setting, meeting minutes, action items, and follow-ups.


A timebox is a predetermined time frame allocated to one unit of work or goal. Timeboxes are typically fractions of the overall schedule; their purpose is to keep a process moving by allocating just enough time to advance (or, hopefully, finish) a task without delaying future work. However, the timebox method halts work when the clock runs out, finished or not. In Agile and other adaptive approaches, a timebox refers to the sprint duration or the length of time an activity will take (such as one week or one month). Work not finished at the end of the timebox is added to the backlog or reprioritized into a new timebox.

When applied to communication, a timebox is allotted to a unit of communication or an agenda item, such as introductions or presentations, so that meetings do not run over or omit presenters. A meeting scheduled to run from 2:00−2:30 p.m. is timeboxed, as is an agenda item that gives Charlotte 15 minutes to present a slideshow.


A meeting agenda is a document that provides the topics of discussion and activities planned for a meeting. (The exception is daily scrum meetings, stand-ups, and other meetings with a set format.) An agenda keeps the meeting on track, facilitates timeboxing, makes sure that meeting goals are achieved, and creates a communication record. Agendas are prepared (or set) and distributed (or published) in advance of the meeting, but they can be revised after the meeting to reflect any items that were added or omitted before they are archived.

Meeting Minutes

The meeting minutes are a record of what was discussed and decisions that were made during a meeting. The minutes should be published formally for review by project stakeholders. Meeting minutes can simply summarize key points of discussion or provide a full written recap of what was discussed, who discussed it, who was present, which items need follow-up, and which decisions were made. Minutes are particularly important when key team members are invited but unable to attend, or when the meeting’s attendance and outcome should be logged for regulatory purposes. They create a record of project decisions and are a valuable resource for generating lessons learned documentation.

Brief, informal minutes can be taken by a scribe or team member and should be distributed to participants and relevant stakeholders. When possible, minutes should be distributed on the same business day as the meeting unless they require formatting to meet a standard. They are typically sent as an email but can be logged to project dashboards or sent in chat channels according to the communication plan.

Remember that the agenda is there to guide the meeting, and the minutes are created to record what happened during the meeting. Because impromptu meetings are variable, they will not have an agenda. If an important project decision is made during an impromptu meeting, you should record and publish meeting minutes in lieu of an agenda.

Action Items and Follow-Ups

An action item is a previously unknown or unassigned task that is identified as a requirement during the course of a meeting. Action items are assigned to team members (the action item owners) along with a completion goal or time; they are usually expected to be completed by the next meeting. Action items differ from issues in that they should require few resources—often only a single resource—and usually take less than one week to resolve. These items should not cause delays in the project.

A follow-up is an after-action following an action item that seeks to update its status or resolve it. To follow up after meetings, a chat or email is sent to request a status update on the action item or to resolve it. If sent in written form, the follow-up may summarize a list of the issues introduced in the meeting, along with the people responsible for each. The best time to send a follow-up email or chat is right after the meeting to help ensure that the attendees follow through with their action items and to ensure no action items were forgotten. The project manager or team member can also schedule a follow-up meeting to collect the status of action items and update the project status report.

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020