The below mentioned article will guide you about how to make the working of committees effective.

1. Right Size:

No doubt committees are constituted for giving representation to interested groups in decision making. But it should not be too large. The proper size of the committee depends on its purpose and requirements. A committee with executive functions should not consist of more than three to five members.

An advisory committee may consist of nine to ten members. The ideal number ranges between three and seven in all cases. Under no circumstances it can be unwieldy. The number of members constituting the committee should be as is necessary to promote participation and other representative interests.

2. Careful Selection of Members:

In the selection of members to committees the authorities are to take utmost care to see that members should have the potentials, commitment, temperament and status.


Some of the points to be considered are:

(i) They should have analytical ability, cool temperament, expert knowledge, integrated and balanced approach.

(ii) They should have formative qualities that enable them to function effectively in a spirit of mutual understanding and co-operation.

(iii) The representatives should have a large measure of response and receptivity in all matters.


(iv) The members should be well-informed and genuinely interested in the all-sided progress of the organisation.

(v) They should have the capacity to contribute constructive suggestions for arriving at group judgement.

3. Clear Terms of Reference:

The authority and the exploratory role of the committees should be clearly defined so that members may act with due discretion and insight. The functions, responsibility and organisational relationship of a committee should be specified in clear cut terms. Care should be taken to assign to the committee such subjects which can be handled efficiently by the committee should be assigned to them. Avoid matters which are not subject to broad discussion.

Members must know in clear cut terms the scope of subjects the committee is expected to consider otherwise, their functioning may go astray and they cannot be of any help to the organisation.

4. Capable and Dynamic Chairman:


The chairman of the committee should be capable and he has to concentrate on the following:

(i) He should be capable of directing group thinking towards committee objectives.

(ii) He should be judicious in planning the meeting, preparing the agenda, informing the members about the notable facts and figures and putting forth definite proposals for discussion and decision.

(iii) He should conduct the meetings in a shrewd and tactful manner without wasting time.


(iv) He should be an effective leader to give proper direction to the deliberations without imposing his views.

(v) He has to lay down the procedure for the conduct of meetings.

(vi) The committee meetings should be timed and briefly and suitably so that prompt decisions and actions can be taken to tackle either the regular problems or special problems.

(vii) He should promote social relationships among members. He should play the role of an arbitrator, peace-maker and expediter.

5. Follow-Up:


Minutes of committee meetings should be properly recorded and circulated among members for review. The committee should be informed of the action taken on matters decided in the meetings. If action is not taken or recommendations are rejected they be given the reasons for it. A periodic review of the effectiveness of the committee should be made to avoid committees to be self-perpetuating.

6. Review of Committee Functioning:

The effectiveness of committee’s functioning should be periodically reviewed. The work of the committees should be evaluated in terms of purpose for which they are formed. The evaluation should also be made in terms of cost involved in working through them. Their contribution should be worth their costs. Both tangible and intangible benefits should be considered. Thus by taking the above precautions the ills of committee organisation may be removed to a great extent.