Review Meeting Planning Worksheet


Quick Summary
A format to use to plan an upcoming review meeting, to be sure it will accomplish what you need it to.


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What this is

A format to use to plan an upcoming review meeting, to be sure it will accomplish what you need it to, whether it's approval for a project portfolio or budget, approval of a design, or agreement that a product is ready to ship. Use our worksheet to plan the review methodically, and you might be surprised at the new prep work you find that will be critical to the review's success!


Why it's useful

This approach works backwards from what you define as the purpose and related "success criteria" for the review meeting to the work needed to achieve those success criteria, and often from there to pre-meetings and pre-selling that will be essential to achieving the goals of the review.

This table format was originally created for a particular large initiative that involved long-term R&D planning across a number of independent business units reporting to a corporate oversight body including very senior representatives from each major business unit. Before the team used this planning approach, the Oversight Committee meeting objectives were somewhat vague and obvious. When the team started methodically defining desired outcomes and work to achieve them, they found they had several pieces of very unexpected and non-trivial work to get ready.

Whether or not your projects involve the challenges of such a large organizational structure, the methodical prep approach in this file will help ensure your review achieves what is necessary.


How to use it

Follow the steps in the worksheet (sketched out here, and elaborated in the downloadable file) to think through meeting preparation. This format can also be used as summary documentation of the meeting, and as a communication tool to other involved parties. Example data for a budget review meeting is included in this sample file; you should modify the example data to fit your meeting or project.

  • Decide the overall purpose of the review. Is it to get approval of something? To brief a group of people on an early version of a document or other deliverable, and find out if there are any major objections? To get buy-in to progress made so far, or buy-in that the team is on track? To get a thorough, collective review of something and identify issues? Are there specific actions or decisions you want from someone at the meeting?
  • Based on the purpose, think further about what success would look like.
  • Determine any pre-review coordination that will be needed to achieve the results.
  • Then determine what materials will be needed at the meeting itself, for review prior to the meeting, and/or for any pre-meeting coordination or "selling."
  • Articulate any review questions you can use.
  • Identify the materials and pre-meeting coordination tasks/actions needed.
  • Publish the meeting objectives.

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