Features and Benefits

Event (Issue, Variance, Risk) The ActionLog has been deliberately designed to encourage workgroups not to go for the action which first springs to mind. Instead, by encouraging them to define what the problem or opportunity is, the team starts to think more laterally. Often they then produce more than one action out of this ‘event’ definition, typically this might be a corrective action to address the immediate concern, and then importantly they might generate a preventive action to fix he issue for good.
Meeting minutes Forget about keeping minutes on word or paper files and sending them around; the ActionLog will take care of this for you.
Escalation If an ‘event’ cannot be resolved within this team, it can be ‘sent’ to a more appropriate forum, possibly another meeting where this problem would fit more naturally.
Review date If an action date is more than 6 weeks out, consider adding a review date to check that the work is on track
Area of event Lets you assign a record to an area which would make logical sense to your team, e.g. a plant area, a sales category, etc.
Auto sort by urgency Manage by exception: when reviewing due or overdue actions, only work until you have reached the point in the list where actions are not due until your next meeting. This saves time and makes meetings more efficient.
Daily Digest Every participant’s events, actions and minutes the team has agreed to in one single spot!

How it works best

Research has shown that without some common log to track actions generally only 40% are actually executed. First Principles Consulting has found that the most effective and efficient use of the ActionLog occurs if the team reviews due or overdue actions as the first agenda item, then progresses through the meeting with its usual agenda, capturing new issues, variances to plan or risks as they go. Finally, as their last agenda item they should review the newly-added events and ensure all are paired with actions to address them, as well as ensuring everyone is committed to their assignments and dates.

About Action Verbs

Our extensive experience has shown that the probability of achieving the desired outcomes on time and to the desired quality increases if the team takes extra care to not only define the reason for the action (an issue, a risk, an opportunity or a variance to a plan), but also uses Action Verbs. Examples of verbs which fit/don’t fit this qualification would include:

Effective Verbs We Like Ineffective Verbs We Don’t Like
  • Complete
  • Agree
  • Implement
  • Confirm
  • Deliver
  • Revise
  • Update
  • Increase..to
  • Decrease..to
  • Identify
  • (not a completely exclusive list)
  • Review (never alone, needs another verb)
  • Discuss
  • Investigate
  • Assess
  • Debate
  • Consider
  • Evaluate
  • Propose
  • Table
  • Suggest
  • Ponder

Effective actions start with a verb that will result in a measurable outcome. Test: What will I show to demonstrate that this action is complete?

Other uses

We’ve have named our Action log ActionLog, because it is an …Action log… But there are other names out there which would describe a similar application. Names like:

  • action tracker
  • issue log
  • risk log
  • risk management
  • meeting actions
  • meeting tracker
  • punch list
  • handover notes
  • audit findings

Other uses could include handover notes between teams; if you can think of more applications we would love to hear from you!