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Action Management Principles

Business schools teach us to manage meetings, manage people, make presentations, even manage our time. But no one teaches us how to manage what makes our organisations change and grow - Actions.

Action Management is a proven methodology to consistently manage actions within our business and personal lives. It sits between Transaction Management at the front end of the organisation and Project Management at the back end. It sits predominantly within the executive levels, i.e. those that drive the performance of our business and but is appilcable to all areas of a business.

Action Management addresses 5 critical areas that cause failure to complete actions, be it in business or at home. They are:


The "Why" question. Why does this action have to be completed. If it is not clear why, then it is unlikely that the action will be given the time needed.


The "When" question. All too often tasks are asked to be completed, but timescales are not made clear.


The "What" question. How many times have you observed a misunderstanding between what was asked, and what was eventually delivered?


The "How" question. Often an action is asked of someone to deliver something (e.g. a product, a fix or a reply) but the person doesn't have all the capability to deliver it. For example they may not have the skills, or the resources, or the funds to complete the task.


The "Who" question. Ownership is often mis-understood, particularly the difference between the person that owns the problem (the Accountable person or Sponsor) and the person that is going to fix the problem (the Responsible person or Manager).

The Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed (RACI) matrix is an excellent tool to clarify these ownership issues.

Action Management vs. Project Management

Many people ask "what is the difference between Action Management(AM) and Project Management(PM). The answers are here.