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Meeting and Project Management



Imagine traveling from point A to point B. You need a roadmap. The same holds true for meetings. OARRS (outcomes, agenda, roles, responsibilities, summary) provides a useful structure.

  • First identify the destination: where are you going? This is your outcome(s). 
  • Next, identify the path to get there. This is your agenda, and it will help achieve your desired outcome(s). 
  • Then, identify the various roles you need for the journey (facilitator, note-taker, time-keeper). 
  • It’s important to set the terms for participant behavior. These are shared responsibilities. How do you want to treat each other, how will you make decisions, etc. 
  • Finally, summarize the takeaways to ensure everyone is on the same page.


A shared agenda that includes meeting outcomes will clarify meeting structure and keep your group focused. Make this visible to all, and consider these questions in advance:

  • Outcome: What do you need to accomplish during your time together? 
  • Agenda: What is the plan/process to meet your desired outcome(s)? How much time do you need to discuss each item?
  • Roles: Who is leading the meeting? Taking notes? Keeping time? 
  • Responsibilities: What are your expectations for behavior, timeliness, etc? Clearly identify other group guidelines.
  • Summary: What did you decide? What are the next steps and who is responsible?


  • What are the outcomes in service of? What’s your larger vision for your community?
  • How might you adapt this tool to be more inclusive?
  • How might this tool cater to different learning styles?
  • Take time to step back and assess what you’re currently doing:
    • What worked well for you when using this tool?
    • What would you do differently next time when using this tool?
    • What additional support do you need?


OARRS is adapted from David Sibbet and Grove Consulting.