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15 tips for running effective product team meetings

Can meetings be legendary? (Or, if not legendary, then truly memorable?) People still hold "roundtable discussions" that hearken back to the age of King Arthur. At his Round Table, knights congregated and each had an equal voice — a method that is still intact today. Now, will your weekly product meetings be fabled in textbooks one day? Probably not. But we can all aspire to make each one more engaging and productive.

A product team meeting can be more than a routine, recurring calendar event. You can make it an hour no one will want to miss — with time dedicated to ideation, progress, and connection. In this guide, we will cover a number of actionable tips to make your product meetings more effective. Many of these tips can be applied in Aha! software and are based on how our own product managers hold meetings (so you know they are vetted by experts).

Get more done in product team meetings — try Aha! Notebooks today.

If you are new to running your own product meetings, consider reading our in-depth guide on how to structure product team meetings first. We will cover the basics below, but it can be helpful to understand the what, why, and how of these sessions before introducing new ideas.

Jump ahead to any section here:

What is a product team meeting?

A product team meeting is a session for the cross-functional group to come together and align on your product's development. It is a forum for decision-making, progress updates, and problem-solving — helping ensure that folks have a clear understanding of the product roadmap and any blockers. When you foster open communication and regularly address key issues, product team meetings can play a crucial role in driving the successful launch and continuous improvement of your product.

Who should attend

Cross-functional product team — product managers, engineers, UX/UI, product marketing, customer support

Who should lead

Product manager

What to discuss

Goal progress, product insights, roadmap updates, and team challenges

When

Regular intervals — typically weekly or bi-weekly

Read more: How to structure your product team meeting — with helpful templates

Product team meeting agenda

In general you will want to include these items in your product team meeting agenda:

  • Action items: Where things stand from last week

  • Goal progress: Updates on key focus areas or initiatives

  • Insights: Product metrics, customer feedback, and ideas from internal teams

  • Upcoming releases: Review of your product roadmap and go-to-market launches

  • Work in progress: Updates on prioritized backlog or other ongoing projects

  • Roadblocks: Team capacity, engineering availability, dependencies, or other constraints

Discussion topics will vary somewhat depending on how you structure your product teams. For example, at Aha! we have dedicated product teams for each of our core products — Aha! Roadmaps, Aha! Notebooks, Aha! Ideas, and Aha! Develop — with their own representatives from various functional groups. All teams follow the same agenda format for weekly product meetings, but focus on goals, customers, and lifecycle considerations for their respective products.

Each team uses a similar agenda template and to-dos that remind folks to update discussion items ahead of the meeting. We use our own software to do this — see an example below (using fictional product data). You can follow a similar setup in other tools.

assign to-dos to teammates

This meeting agenda template in Aha! Notebooks is based on how our product teams structure their own. Its basic format makes it easy to customize to your needs — which is simple to do with rich text formatting options, embedded views, and whiteboards. Try it out.

Meeting agenda large


Of all the meetings you attend each week as a product manager, your product team meeting stands to be the most impactful — if it is run effectively. Like any recurring meeting, things can turn mediocre. It your job as the leader to help make this time valuable for everyone.

With the right tips, this is not so hard to accomplish.

Best practices for product meetings

Now let's get to the tips. Think of the 15 ideas below as a checklist for taking your meetings to the next level. These tips are compiled from Aha! product managers, product marketing managers, and other product experts — inspired by how we run our own weekly product team meetings. We have also included tips that will help you use Aha! Notebooks as a meeting tool, just like our team does.

Before the meeting

  1. Templatize. Use a standardized template that can be easily recreated each week. Start with a baseline meeting agenda template and customize it to your needs.

  2. Add your goals. Display key initiatives and goal progress on your agenda template. That way, goals will be top-of-mind at the start of each meeting.

  3. Insert reports. Link to reports or embed Aha! views right in your agenda template for easy access to product performance, customer ideas, and other insights while you discuss.

  4. Send in advance. Share the agenda template ahead of the meeting so everyone can add their updates. You can even assign to-do's to remind teammates of this.

  5. Set parameters. Once the team has added their updates for the week, consider how much time to allot for each section of the agenda to keep things moving.

During the meeting

  1. Rotate. Take turns speaking and writing notes. That way everyone gets a chance to talk about their area of the business.

  2. Ask questions. As the product manager and meeting leader, show your curiosity. Ask questions to encourage deeper discussion and uncover more diverse perspectives on the problems you need to solve.

  3. Be transparent. Share openly about the status of work — including which items are behind or blocked — so everyone stays aligned.

  4. Show the roadmap. After reviewing product performance and feedback, compare against what features are upcoming and whether what is planned addresses what you have uncovered. Make adjustments as necessary.

  5. Get visual. Add colors, tables, and images to make your meeting notes more visually engaging — and so attendees can process information faster.

  6. Whiteboard together. Meetings can be an excellent setting for ideation. Break out into a whiteboard to capture new ideas — using different templates to guide the process and organize raw concepts.

  7. Share your screen. Encourage folks to get interactive with their presentations by demoing new product designs or functionality. This helps to capture everyone's attention for the meeting duration.

After the meeting and ongoing

  1. Summarize with AI. AI tools — like the built-in AI assistant in Aha! Notebooks — can help you distill lengthy meeting notes into concise key points.

  2. Review and assign. Capture any questions or action items into to-dos. Assign them to folks right after the session ends so things do not get lost between meetings.

  3. Check in. Some meetings start out as energetic and get drab over time. Your own team can be a great resource for ways to make things more engaging — poll them for feedback on how to improve.

More meeting tips and resources for product managers

The meeting tips in this guide are geared to be actionable — so you can implement them in your next meeting. If you are looking for more, we have written extensively about how to run better meetings in other guides and on the Aha! blog. Continue reading with these resources:

Run more effective team meetings — try Aha! Notebooks today.