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Overview of the Agenda dashboard

The agenda of a MeetingSphere session describes the process by which a given set of topics shall be covered and results be produced. Such a process is typically structured by headlines that describe WHAT topics shall be covered. Then people decide HOW each topic is tackled to get the required results. Or, slightly more detailed:

  1. WHAT
    • do we want/need to cover (which topics)?
    • is the starting point (what do we know or has already been decided before the session)?
    • is the required result (what do we need to know or decide on by the end of the session)?
    • is the time available to produce the results?
  2. HOW are we going to get from our starting point to results in the given time frame?

The "How" is where MeetingSphere comes in. With a strong set of tools, you can produce better results faster. This means that you can produce better quality or cover more topics or cut meetings short.

 The Agenda dashboard

The Agenda dashboard is the MeetingSphere tool by which the Host builds and runs an agenda. In the Agenda dashboard, the different agenda elements graphically and chronologically from top to bottom. The structuring of the process occurs at two levels (more):

1. WHAT: Topics = Agenda stages

As a first step in building the agenda of a session, the Host creates  an "Agenda stage" for each topic. Depending on the type and duration of the meeting there can be several Agenda stages (topics) or just one or two big ones. The Agenda stages are represented as colored frames (more).

2. HOW: Activities to produce results = Tools to support the activities

In a second step, the Host determines for each topic (Agenda stage) how the group shall get from the starting point to the desired outcome. For each step in that sub process, the Host selects and configures the tool that best supports the work. These tools, for instance a Presentation , a Rating and a Discussion are placed "in" the Agenda stage i.e. in the colored frame that resembles the topic (more).  

Options for building an agenda

When Hosts create a new session, MeetingSphere offers several options to build the agenda.

Instant Brainstorm
A ready-made open session with just one Agenda stage and tool: The Host merely has to specify the Brainstorm question and share the session URL with participants. 
Instant Discussion
A ready-made open session with just one Agenda stage and tool: The Host merely has to specify the Discussion topics and share the session URL with participants.
Instant Presentation
A ready-made open session with just one Agenda stage and tool: The Host merely has to specify the Presenter (who shall upload and run the presentation) and share the session URL with participants.
New agenda
The session and its agenda are created "from scratch" based on tool defaults. The Host takes a blank-sheet approach to defining topics (Agenda stages) and the activities (tools) to produce the required results.
(Copy) from an existing session
The agenda and settings of the new session are copied from an existing session. The Host can choose to copy only the agenda or to include the participant list and content.
(Copy) from a Template
The agenda and settings of the new session are copied from a Template. A template is a ready-made session without time, place or participants for easy reuse, for propagating Best practice or for ensuring process compliance.
(Copy) from session or template file (*.mssf)
The agenda and settings of the new session are copied from a Template or session which is uploaded and imported from the Host's computer.

Of course, in the Agenda dashboard, Hosts can copy from existing sessions or Templates at any time when building or running an agenda.

Running the session

Once the process (agenda) of the session is defined, the Host's task centers on navigating people and content through that process:

Navigating People (Start / Stop )

Participants are "moved" through the Agenda by "starting" and "stopping" them in the relevant tool(s) where they are asked to do work in order to achieve results.

Moving Content (Copy & paste to follow up activity)

Content is moved from one activity (tool) to the next if the outcome of one activity (tool) shall be processed further in a different tool. For instance, the ideas of a Brainstorm are often copied to a Rating sheet from whose Results table or chart the "top X" (or the most controversial) items are then copied to a Discussion.

Content from outside MeetingSphere can, of course, be pasted into the tools via the Host's computer's clipboard  just as the content of any MeetingSphere tool can be exported or copied to another application such as Excel for further processing.

Documenting the session

MeetingSphere produces the session report ("minutes") with the Report maker  tool which allows for specifying several (more or less elaborate) versions of the session report. Reports can be created (and emailed) at any time in PDF or Word (DOCX) format, even if the session is still in full swing.

As the report is typically created on conclusion of a session, the Report maker tool is positioned at the bottom of the Agenda dashboard.