Action items are tasks that derive from meetings or discussions, which are then assigned to an individual or team and must be completed. In a meeting, many great ideas are thrown around without any real plan. The goal of an action item is to signify a certain step towards achieving that idea. Typically, action items are meant for a single person to be able to complete, eliminating any possible ambiguity of who is in charge of the next step in the plan. It is extremely important to document all action items so every team member is aware of who is in charge of completing the task and why the task is needed in the first place. Some important terms to keep in mind when assigning action items are:
Owner: The owner of the action item is the person who is in charge of making sure the task is completed successfully and on time.
Description: A short explanation of what the action item will entail. This should be documented during the first meeting so both sides know what to expect with the final product.
Priority: Identify the urgency of the action item, which helps the owner to establish a timeframe for the completion of the task.