What is action item? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Project management glossary:

An action item is a discrete task that must be accomplished, usually by a single individual or a small team or group.

Action items typically arise from meetings and should always be clearly documented. Most people overestimate how well they are likely to remember things. As a result, they may commit themselves to an action item, write a sketchy shorthand note about it and later wonder what it means. One way to prevent that scenario is ensuring that action items are expressed as full sentences. For example, “Create a draft of the request for proposal (RFP) for XYZ inc.” conveys a lot more information than simply “XYZ inc.”

It’s also important to ensure that all crucial details are included, such as task deadlines, the responsible party (if the action item is assigned to a team) and any consequent action items that are expected to arise from the original one. Action items arising from another are sometimes referred to as relay items.

See also: actionable, actionable intelligence

This was last updated in January 2014
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • critical path method (CPM)

    - The CPM was developed in the 1950s by DuPont, and was first used in missile-defense construction projects. Since that time the CPM has been adapted to other fields including hardware and software p... (WhatIs.com)

  • use case diagram (UML use case diagram)

    - A use case is a methodology used in system analysis to identify, clarify, and organize system requirements; a use case diagram is a graphic depiction of the interactions among the elements of a sys... (WhatIs.com)

  • 70 percent rule for productivity

    - According to the 70 percent rule, which has its roots in athletics, employees are most productive when a majority of their time is spent working at a less intense pace. That way, when work demands ... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Project management

    - Terms related to project management, including definitions about project management methodologies and tools.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.