As any project manager can tell you, keeping track of who is working on what task, when and where, or when items are due is one of the most time consuming aspects of managing a project.
This is where an action register can help. An action register is a central place where the project manager can record all of the different actions associated with the project, its owners, due dates and other important information.
Action registers are also useful for individual project team members, especially if they are working on multiple projects with different project managers. It is a great way to show work load and availability if a central tool to manage this is not available.
It’s worth noting that an action register is different from the project schedule, as it contains a lot more detail and is likely to be updated more frequently than the schedule.
With an action register, it is simpler to keep track of all the actions needed to keep the project running smoothly. An example of an action would be: “Follow up with vendor about issue x”, while an example of a task would be: “Write steering committee report”.
If you don’t have a PPM tool that supports action registers you can easily build one in Excel. It won’t do some of the fancier things like linking actions to the schedule or durations to the project budget but it is a good start.
The information you need to start with is:
- A list of the project actions
- Who is responsible for each of the actions
- The due dates for each action
- A space to record progress and any associated comments
Action registers should be updated frequently – even more than the project schedule.
If you don’t want to build an action register from scratch, you can try Psoda’s free for 30 days by signing up for a trial account. Psoda’s action register lets you link actions to tasks in your schedule as well as to individual resources and allows you to automatically track how much a task is costing to complete by linking to the project budget.