In order to reach business or organizational goals, we need to take action. Knowing what tasks need to be completed to reach the finish line and how to track these action items effectively, might determine your future success.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the 7 fundamental tips that will help you to track action items efficiently.
1. Ensure Clarity
Before you start tracking action items, the first step is to ensure that task owners understand their assignments. It is easier to establish clarity when the tasks you assign are specific and measurable. This means clearly defining what needs to be done to complete the task and outlining success criteria, who is responsible and due dates.
2. Establish a System
When action items are delegated, it is time to record them. There are a few ways you can do this based on your preference.
You can simply write all the action items in your notebook or piece of paper. Just keep in mind that such records can be misplaced or lost and they are more difficult to track. Alternatively, you can write action items in a spreadsheet or dedicated software like MeetingKing. These options are more reliable and effective because you can easily view or update them at any time or any place.
Generally, action items include information like the description of the task, the deadline, the task owner, and the status.
3. Include Key Information
When writing action items, it is essential not only to note the title of the task but also all key details. The more details you add, the easier it is for everyone involved to follow. This means you will not have to go back and forth with task owners to explain their assignments, saving everyone time and energy.
Typically, the description of action items contains information like the name of the task owner, priority level, references to any relevant documents, etc. In other words, any related details that are required to complete the assignment.
4. Attach Deadlines
No matter what you are working on, there is always a deadline for when it has to be completed. Therefore, it is important that each task owner is aware of the due dates for their action items.
This serves two purposes. First, when task owners are aware of deadlines it facilitates planning and time management. Second, it becomes easier to know when to arrange status update meetings and delegate new tasks.
5. Record Action Items and Changes
Most action items arise during meetings and that is when they should be recorded. This way, you do not forget any details and can start tracking action items immediately after the meeting is over.
It is important to write action items right away because you might start getting updates or issues shortly after the meeting. For example, there might be some unanticipated obstacles that emerge, unexpected system errors that occur or perhaps, the task owner simply wants to share a new development.
Writing tasks down immediately makes the process of tracking action items more efficient. As a result, assignments are not forgotten, get completed quicker and delays can be prevented.
6. Monitor the Progress of Action Items
Ideally, the status of action items should be updated as soon as the tasks are completed. It is particularly important when dealing with projects where certain tasks must be done before you can start working on others. This simple step can make things go considerably smoother and you might avoid wasting precious time.
7. Follow up with Task Owners
Assigning tasks properly is just one part of a puzzle when it comes to tracking action items. You should also frequently check task progress. One of the most effective ways to do so is by following up with each task owner to see where they are and if they are encountering any issues.
Checking in with your team helps to identify new developments and implement any preventive actions on time. Furthermore, it creates an opportunity for task owners to receive necessary guidance if they are stuck or need advice.
Pro Tip – Delegate the Right People
To multiply the chances of success and increase motivation, productivity, and efficiency among your team when working on action items, assign them to people with the right skill set. Think about which team members have experience and/or knowledge doing a similar task and assign action items accordingly.
Action items play an important role in any organization or business. For this reason, knowing how to track them correctly can make a huge difference. This includes having a system, writing down all the necessary information, and getting real-time updates from task owners.
MeetingKing can make the whole process more convenient and smooth, saving you and your team valuable time and resources. In our software, you can record the task, assign it to the team member and appoint the deadline. Task owners will get automatic reminders on their tasks and you can easily check the progress of each task in the dashboard.
Give our software a try today! Sign up here for a FREE 30-day trial.
The image above by Freepik