Building great products is a collaborative activity and one that requires meetings (some might say more meetings than they would appreciate.) To make sure you’re getting value out of every minute, set and share an agenda in advance of every meeting. That way, everyone will show up prepared for the meeting, understanding what is going to be covered and what part they might plan in that discussion.
Below are agenda examples for common product meetings that you can easily adapt to your own organization. This page is not only for your planning and team meetings — these templates also cover topics like user research and project post-mortems. Product team members have lots of other types of meetings too. For more agenda templates, check out these 80+ sample meeting agendas. 👇
Include details of the project here with a link to any additional specification documents. Make sure you note who owns each part of the workload if relevant. This should be filled out in advance, as it sets the context for the rest of the meeting that follows.
Start off by thinking critically about the feature or product, laying out possible outcomes for how people might engage with whatever you’re working on. For example, let’s say you are adding a checklist to your product to increase activation. One possible outcome is that users don’t engage with the checklist at all!
Next up it's time to brainstorm the reasons that the previous outcome might occur. Maybe the checklist blends in with the other UI elements? Maybe people see it, but just don't want any guidance. It's important to go broad and generate lots of ideas, especially the negative ones.
Last but not least, ponder how you would respond to that outcome. If the checklist doesn't stand out among the other elements, would you add more color or make it bigger? Will you cut your losses and try another approach?
Do any key stakeholders have discussion points, insights, ideas, or requests to contribute? Share this template before the product roadmap meeting to gather feedback.
With stakeholder input, develop a clear product vision by identifying the strategic goals most important to your organization. Examples include customer acquisition, churn reduction, technical improvements, upselling new services, etc.
What themes can be formed by grouping together the listed initiatives, features, and epics?
Why is each theme being pursued? What value does each one provide to the customer? Make sure to account for market space, customer data, and potential return on investment for each new project.
Break each initiative down into specific tasks, requirements, and deadlines. Confirm that each one is viable by allocating resources accordingly. Assign ownership and designate release dates.
What metrics will you use to measure progress for each initiative? Define what success looks like.
What potential issues could arise? How can we solve them? Does the scope of work allot enough time for unexpected issues?
What were the main insights from this product roadmap meeting? Include key decisions made, opportunities, and potential issues that should be shared with key stakeholders.
Put together a visual aid for your roadmap. Ensure it communicates product direction and value to key stakeholders. Also, make sure that your engineering team can use it to see details and logistics clearly. Your roadmap should be dynamic so that it can easily evolve and adapt to changes over time.
What can be done now? Who is responsible? Clarify next steps, who's completing them, and when they should be done by. Note this information here to share.
List all key stakeholders not present and other departments that this information should be shared with.
Now that plans have been set in motion, it's time to schedule meetings with other stakeholder parties to align them on what's coming next. Ensure that everyone is on the same page and plan roadmap check-ins for the future.
Share updates on progress, key metrics, and anecdotes to gain an up-to-date, accurate understanding of current product endeavors.
What milestones have we accomplished since our last product team meeting? What valuable lessons were learned?
Have any issues or challenges come up since the last catch-up? How can we help solve them?
Is there any other new information we should consider? Are there any new metrics, trends, customer feedback, or market influences we should be aware of?
What's coming up? Moving forward, what features, releases, goals, or fixes are we focusing on? How are we planning to approach these?
What were the main insights from this product team meeting? Include key decisions made, progress reports, and any opportunities, issues, or concerns that should be shared with key stakeholders.
Clarify next steps, who's completing them, and when they should be done by. Note this information here to share and assign.
Quick reminder of who the target audience is for the project and what the core value proposition is
Say hello and add a bit of joy to the meeting. Get everyone to share something fun they did recently, the best thing they ate over the weekend, etc.
Write this out.
There are three main types of meeting goals:
What’s important for the team to know about what’s happening inside and outside of the team?
Give a brief synopsis of the event. Include aspects like plans, timelines, and deliverables if applicable.
Summarize the incident. What happened compared to what should have happened? Provide context so other team members can understand.
Do any key stakeholders have discussion points to contribute? Share this template before the post-mortem meeting to gather feedback.
What barriers or unexpected obstacles arose that changed the outcome of this event?
Identify the main cause of each issue above. Be specific. Were objectives clear? Was the schedule realistic? Did any changes in scope occur?
Summarize the key insights from this post-mortem. How can we ensure this incident doesn't happen again? What should we do differently next time?
List any additional resources that can help the team address all risks and root causes identified.
What can be done now? Who is responsible? Clarify any next steps, who's completing them, and when they should be done by. Note this information here to share.
Summarize all notable events since the last retrospective. Share updates on initiatives, key metrics, and anecdotes. Compare the current timeline and deliverables with what was originally planned.
What went well? Were any special milestones accomplished? Let each team member contribute.
What went wrong? Did any unforeseen obstacles arise? Identify the root cause of each one. Allow each team member to contribute. And remember, this isn't a blame game—focus on continuous improvement.
What were the main lessons from the roadblocks discussed? How can we solve each issue and improve?
Summarize any other valuable discussion points. It does not have to be directly related to the retrospective's main topic.
What were the main insights from this retrospective meeting? Include key decisions, plans, and any opportunities or concerns that should be shared with key stakeholders.
Clarify next steps, who's completing them, how we will measure them, and when they should be done by. Note this information here to share and assign.
How will we keep in touch and stay up-to-date about progress? When is the next retrospective?
What is the main purpose of this sprint? Define key objectives below.
What user stories match the sprint goal? Share this with your team prior to the meeting so they can contribute. Break each user story down into individual tasks. Make sure each task has as much information as possible. Include important metrics.
List out the epics that we're planning to start or deliver during this sprint.
Revisit your definition of "done." Decide on the acceptance criteria that will be used to determine when each individual task is complete. Make sure all of this realistically aligns with your team's capacity.
What potential issues could come up based on the goal and sprint backlog? How can we solve them? Does the scope of work allot enough time for unexpected issues
What were the main insights and discussion points from this sprint planning session?
Get verbal confirmation from your team about the next steps to be taken. Clarify who's completing them and when they should be done by. Note this information here to share and assign.
How will we keep in touch and stay up-to-date about progress? Should we schedule a follow-up meeting?
Capture learnings from [initiative] and identify what went wrong so we can get better
Put all the details of what happened here. Only the facts. Make sure you answer who what where when why. Customer feedback is good to include if we have it. Include any and all mistakes and what went well. Break up into sections, like “research” “engineering” “customer feedback” “the feature” “marketing efforts” etc.
What happened as a result of the situation? This could include how an initiative performed, what happened as a result of a bug, how a feature fared, etc. Support this section with data
All the details of what went wrong. Opinions are welcome here. Be fair to other people who were involved and let them add to the postmortem or give you context as needed. In the case of bugs, what we could have done better to prevent a problem can be included here as well.
Whatever we learned that will affect how we do things next go around, it goes here. This is the synthesis of everything we’ve figured out from doing the postmortem.
Any action items we have, and who owns each of them, plus dates if possible
What is the main focus of this session (e.g., general performance, feature requests, product bugs)?
Relevant user information and demographics to understand the persona of the interviewee.
List all planned questions for this particular user research study. Record the interviewee's response to each question.
Did the user mention any specific positive aspects in relation to the topic of this session?
Did the user mention any specific negative aspects in relation to the topic of this session? How could we improve them?
Did the user provide notable feedback outside the scope of this session that could help other business objectives?
Summarize the key insights that you learned from this user research session. If any are actionable, you can assign them to your team members right from here.
Were there any notes, quotes, or anecdotes that may assist marketing in their messaging to other users?
Whether your next customer meeting is your first or 15th with that client, you need an agenda. To build an agenda, you focus should be on answer these three questions:
How to specifically structure your agenda may vary based on your customer, but our library of 80+ meeting agenda examples should give you a good starting point.
As you get your meeting started, you want to grab everyone’s attention, set expectations, and then launch right into it!
As you wrap up your customer meeting, you should revisit any action items you’ve noted during the meeting and affirm that you’re on top of things. This is a good time to note who will be responsible for what, and when the customer can expect an update.
Then, end on a positive note, showing enthusiasm for your partnership and thanking your customer for their time.
Relax and smile
You may be stressed in an attempt to get started on the right foot. Don’t let that impact your body language (even on video conferencing).
Offer something of value for free
In addition to any materials in your welcome package, set the stage for a strong relationship by making an offer. This could be a resource, like a research or an ebook, or it could be to set up a training or consultation. It could even be minor, like providing advice based on the customer and your experience with other customers like them. Whatever it is, find a way to show your client that you’re deeply invested in their success.
Listen more than you speak
You may have landed this client, but you still have a lot to learn about their expectations, goals, and priorities. Ask a lot of questions, and listen actively. Even if you think you already know the answers, being a good listener will help build rapport, and you never know—you may learn something incredibly valuable after all.
Be specific about what you offer and how you can help
A common pitfall in initial client meetings is to be overly general. Instead, now is the time to be specific. What exactly will you do together? Who, how much, how often, measured in what way?
As a matter of fact, we do. This short, downloadable guide walks you through running a customer meeting that both strengthens customer relationships and improves company wide collaboration.
Get your free download: The Art of the Customer Meeting.
How to run your design meeting will depend a lot on what kind of design meeting it is. Is this a sync up between just a PM (or other product owner) and the designer? Is it a weekly meeting for the design team? A critique? Or is it a cross-functional meeting, with many stakeholders present?
Each of these types of meetings requires a slightly different approach. What is common between them, is a need to be upfront and clear about what the goals of the meeting are (and what they aren’t).
For example, here are some typical examples of design meetings:
Successful design projects usually need involvement from other stakeholders, but too much meddling can throw a wrench in the design process. As a general rule (that can sometimes be broken), input from non-designers is the most helpful at the beginning and end of a design process.
Early in the project, in the research phase, non-designers can be incredibly helpful. They can clarify how a design will be used, describe customer needs, and reveal requirements that might not be obvious about how the design should be used. If designers have experimented with multiple approaches to a problem, it can be useful to share these sketches early on.
Once the design specifications are clear, however, it’s often a good idea to let designers and project people iterate through the problem in a small team with minimal distraction. It’s during this time that small details can become a distraction for non-designers.
When a design is nearly complete, it’s once again helpful to invite key stakeholders to make sure the design is successful, and get buy-in before more resources are invested in making the design come to life.
Consider what can be removed from your agenda… and your invite list
Possibly the most common complaint about team meetings is that they are a waste of time. So the first step toward having a good team meeting is asking yourself whether everything on your agenda needs to be part of the meeting, and whether everyone needs to be there. By keeping a tight agenda and a smaller group, you’re sending a signal that people’s time is important.
Share your agenda in advance
Speaking of agendas, be prepared. Share your agenda in advance, so that the rest of the team know what will be discussed. This way, they can prepare their thoughts, and the meeting will run smoothly. If you surprise people with topics, those parts of a meeting can take longer.
Let other people talk
Many leaders and executives make the mistake of thinking that if they are running a meeting, they need to talk the whole time. Instead of Presenting on a topic for 30 or 60 minutes, structure your meeting so that others participate and even take the spotlight.
For a more in-depth structure to follow, check out Vital Meetings, the free guide to having shorter, fewer, and better meetings.
With executive time being so valuable, it’s important that exec meetings focus not on information sharing, but rather on discussion that leads to decision-making.
One strategy that works here, is to use action-oriented agendas. For example, instead of an agenda item called, “Priorities for next quarter” make a bold statement on your agenda: “Decide on top 3 priorities for next quarter.” This leaves no wiggle room for failing to meet the goal of the meeting.
If you take a look inside a manager’s calendar, it’s not uncommon to see 50-90% of their time blocked off in meetings. At first glance, this seems to make sense. If your primary function is leadership, should you spend the majority of your time with others? However, this kind of distribution often doesn’t leave enough time for strategic thinking and planning.
If you’re attending lots of meetings out of a need to stay in the loop, a better approach is to ask your team to take notes on important meetings, and share them with you (and other relevant stakeholders). A meeting management platform like Hugo can help, and many managers whose teams use Hugo report spending 20-50% less time in meetings because they can rely on skimming notes for less important meetings instead.
HR (human resources) is responsible for supporting recruitment, hiring, training, and managing. HR professionals meet with job applicants and current workers to support these goals in a variety of meetings, ranging from job interviews, to trainings, to one-on-one coaching sessions.
If your behavior at work is in the process of being addressed, you may need to meet with HR. This can be a stressful situation, but ultimately, if you handle yourself professionally, you should be able to come out of the meeting in good shape (and keep your job).
Here are a key tips to keep in mind:
Invite necessary decision-makers, but don’t cast too wide of a net. Since marketing often involves or impacts a lot of departments, it can be tempting to invite a lot of people to some marketing meetings. Instead, try to pair it down. If someone is being invited to the meeting only as an FYI, send them meeting notes instead.
The best meetings involve the whole room, not just one or two presenters. Here are a few ways to encourage more engagement:
Team meetings are among the most common and most important meetings in any workplace. Agendas for these types of meetings range wildly, but all topics usually fall into one of these categories:
One-on-one meetings have many benefits:
It’s good for the employee to feel ownership of their one-on-one because the meeting is primarily for their benefit. So, rather than having a manager set the agenda every time, the majority of the agenda should be driven by the employee. Of course, there should still be opportunities for managers to lead the conversation, especially when it comes to topics like coaching and performance. Using a meeting notes app that allows for easy, collaborative agendas can help.
Yes. The word one-on-one is always hyphenated, regardless of whether it is used as a noun, adjective, and adverb.
Writing all three hyphenated words out as one-on-one can be tedious. For brevity in your calendar invites, try using: "1:1" or "Name <> Name."