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How To Run A Steering Board Meeting

Successfully run a Steering Board Meeting by establishing clear objectives, preparing a detailed agenda, communicating with participants beforehand, guiding discussions during the meeting, ensuring all voices are heard, and summarizing decisions and action items post-meeting.

A Steering Board Meeting is a high-level strategic gathering often organized by project or program management teams intended to review, guide, and make critical decisions regarding the project or program. It consists of key stakeholders such as project sponsors, department heads or executives, and any impactful decision-makers who have a vested interest in the success of the project. The purpose of the meeting is to monitor the progression of the project, address any potential risks or issues, allocate resources, manage changes, and ensure that the project or program aligns with the company’s strategic objectives.

What is the purpose of a Steering Board Meeting?

The purpose of running a steering board meeting as a leader is to gather key decision-makers and stakeholders in order to discuss and align on important strategic matters. It serves as a platform to review progress, address challenges, make critical decisions, and provide guidance to ensure the organization is on track towards its goals and objectives.

How To Run A Steering Board Meeting: Step-By-Step


Step 1: Meeting Agenda Preparation,

Kickstarting a steering board meeting primarily involves crafting the agenda. It’s crucial to zero in on significant topics for discourse, structure them according to their urgency, and allocate specific time slots for each. This systematic approach helps streamline discussions, ensuring every crucial point is adequately addressed.

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Step 2: Coordinating the Schedule,

Planning a meeting for all steering board members entails finding a suitable time for all. This can be quite challenging with their busy schedules, often leading to a time-consuming back-and-forth communication. As a remedy, consider leveraging scheduling tools or services to streamline and expedite this coordination process.

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Step 3: Sending Invitations and Agendas,

After choosing an ideal date and time, dispatch the official invitations to involved parties. Ensure to incorporate a detailed agenda in the invitations, as it gives participants an overview of the topics that will be discussed, enabling them to come prepared with relevant input.


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Step 4: Preparing Necessary Materials,

According to the agenda, it’s imperative to organize requisite documents, presentations, or pertinent reference materials for the scheduled meeting. It’s advisable to circulate these materials prior to the meeting time, ensuring each participant gets ample opportunity for scrutiny, comprehension, and arriving with informed perspectives.

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Step 5: Setting Up the Meeting Room,

On the scheduled day of the meeting, ensure the room is adequately organized with suitable seating arrangements, functioning audio/visual fixtures or any other crucial meeting peripherals. In the case of a virtual meeting, meticulously confirm that all technical components, such as internet connectivity, video conferencing software, and audio clarity, are operational to avoid any disruption during the meeting.

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Step 6: Initiating the Meeting,

As the meeting begins, formally welcome everyone present, setting a tone of professionalism. Give a concise recap of the agenda to remind the attendees of the topics for discussion. As the session progresses, manage and control the pace of the meeting, making sure every item on the agenda is discussed within the allocated time. Ensure attendees steadfastly adhere to the agenda, to prevent digressions and to maintain the focus and effectiveness of the meeting.

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Step 7: Facilitating Discussions,

During the progression of the meeting, it’s paramount to offer everyone a chance to express their viewpoints. The forum should be democratic, fostering the exchange of ideas. Yet, it’s equally crucial to maintain the focus of discussions, avoiding digressions from the central topic, to optimize time and productivity.

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Step 8: Concluding the Meeting,

To conclude your meeting, provide an overview of the topics that were discussed, ensuring every point is highlighted. Follow this up by recapping the decisions that were taken. Don’t forget to outline recommended next steps, assigning responsibilities where necessary to encourage follow-through.

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Step 9: Meeting Follow-ups,

Post-meeting, circulate meeting minutes or a comprehensive summary to all attendees. This crucial document should neatly encapsulate the vital points deliberated upon, the significant decisions agreed to, and any impending tasks or actions that need attending to by the team or individuals.

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Step 10: Tracking Actions,

It’s crucial to meticulously document tasks or actions designated during meetings. Ensure each item is completed by monitoring progress between sessions. In subsequent meetings, provide an update on the completion status of these tasks, reinforcing accountability and creating a cycle of ongoing progress.

Questions to ask as the leader of the meeting

1. What are our key objectives for this quarter/year?

Explanation: This question sets the direction for the meeting, ensuring everyone understands and aligns with the main goals of the organization, allowing for focused discussions and decision-making.

2. What are the key challenges we face in achieving these objectives?

Explanation: Identifying challenges helps the leader understand potential roadblocks and initiate problem-solving discussions, ensuring effective planning to overcome obstacles and achieve desired results.

3. What progress have we made towards our objectives since the last meeting?

Explanation: Tracking progress keeps the team accountable and allows leaders to assess the effectiveness of strategies and tactics implemented, making adjustments if required.

4. Are there any emerging opportunities or potential risks we should be aware of?

Explanation: This question helps leaders stay proactive by identifying new opportunities that can propel the organization forward or risks that may derail progress. It promotes future-focused discussions and strategic decision-making.

5. How are we performing compared to our competitors?

Explanation: Comparing performance against competitors provides valuable insights and helps leaders understand the market landscape. It can identify areas for improvement, highlight competitive advantages, and guide future strategic initiatives.

6. Do we have the necessary resources and support to achieve our objectives?

Explanation: Assessing resource availability ensures leaders can address any gaps to support successful execution of objectives. It may involve allocating more budget, hiring new talent, or providing additional training.

7. What actions or decisions do we need to make to move forward towards our objectives?

Explanation: Identifying required actions and decisions facilitates effective planning and ensures that everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities, leading to timely progress towards objectives.

8. How are we fostering collaboration and communication within the organization?

Explanation: Fostering collaboration and communication is crucial for achieving organizational goals. This question helps leaders assess current practices and identify areas where improvements can be made to enhance teamwork, information sharing, and overall efficiency.

9. Are there any lessons learned from recent initiatives or projects?

Explanation: Reflecting on lessons learned encourages a culture of continuous improvement and helps leaders avoid repeating past mistakes. It provides valuable insights that can be applied to future endeavors for better outcomes.

10. How are we tracking and measuring the success of our initiatives?

Explanation: Monitoring and measuring success is vital to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies and initiatives. This question ensures leaders have visibility into key performance indicators and can assess whether adjustments are necessary.

As a leader, preparing a steering board meeting agenda starts with identifying the key topics to be discussed. Prioritize items based on their importance and relevance to the organization’s goals. Set clear objectives for each agenda item, ensuring they are specific and achievable. Include time allotments for each topic and allocate sufficient time for discussion and decision-making. Distribute the agenda in advance to allow participants to come prepared and ensure a productive and efficient meeting.

How To Prepare For A Steering Board Meeting
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During a steering board meeting, it is essential to discuss key topics such as project updates, budget reviews, performance metrics, risk assessments, and strategic decisions. By addressing these crucial aspects, the board can effectively oversee progress, identify challenges, allocate resources, and make informed decisions to ensure organizational success.

See Our Steering Board Meeting Template
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Software tools to facilitate a Steering Board Meeting

Software helps leaders to efficiently run steering board meetings by providing a streamlined platform to organize agendas, schedule meetings, track action items, and share documents. With features like real-time collaboration, task management, and data visualization, leaders can make informed decisions, enhance communication, and ensure that meetings are productive and goals are met.

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In essence, steering board meetings are pivotal to the strategic direction of an organization. By adopting a well-planned agenda, clear communication, active participation, and professional follow-up actions, you can absolutely streamline decision-making processes and effectively guide your company towards its goal. The perfect blend of command and collaboration gives rise to productive meetings, ensuring every board member’s contribution is valued. At the end of the day, organizing and running a successful steering board meeting is a combination of preparation, leadership, engagement and efficient execution.

Popular Questions

What is the purpose of a Steering Board Meeting?

The main purpose of a Steering Board Meeting is to provide strategic direction and oversight to a project or initiative. It serves as a platform for decision-making and problem-solving pertaining to a project’s scope, schedule, budget, and resources.

Who typically participates in a Steering Board Meeting?

Steering Board Meetings usually involve key stakeholders, such as project managers, team leaders, and executive sponsors. These can be people from different departments within an organization who have a vested interest in the project or initiative.

How often do Steering Board Meetings occur?

The frequency of Steering Board Meetings can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. They may occur weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. However, they can also be convened on an ad hoc basis when crucial decisions need to be made or issues need to be addressed urgently.

What is typically discussed in a Steering Board Meeting?

In a Steering Board Meeting, participants usually discuss the status of the project, including any achievements, challenges, risks, or issues. They also discuss strategic matters like project changes, additional resources needed, timelines, and budget adjustments. In addition, future plans, goals, and objectives may be outlined.

What is the desired outcome of a Steering Board Meeting?

The desired outcome of a Steering Board Meeting is to ensure all team members and stakeholders understand the current state of the project and align on the next steps. Also, any risks, issues, or obstacles should be addressed, with strategies formulated to overcome them, ultimately ensuring that the project remains on track to achieve its objectives.