Are you familiar with the concept of GTD? GTD is abbreviation of Getting Things Done. A famous book about GTD is the book “Getting Things Done” of David Allen. If you search the internet for GTD you will find a lot of information and tools you can use to realize GTD. Software that I use to realize GTD is Evernote and Remember The Milk.
One of the things David Allen describes in his book is always ask yourself “What’s the next action?”. I believe you should apply this concept also to meetings. Always identify a next action when you leave a meeting. If you have a meeting that lasts one, two or even three hours and you leave the meeting without any actions, you should feel uncomfortable…
Whenever I’m the chairman or facilitator of a meeting, I try to identify next action. In the worst case scenario a next action could be plan a meeting to identify the next action. I also try to delegate actions to other people, also one of the concept of GTD.
The following scenario happened to me already several times: We had a meeting, identified several actions and we assigned the actions to the attendees. We left the meeting and nothing happened…. Where did it go wrong?
Not everyone has a GTD system implemented and I notice some people don’t write down their actions. They left the meeting and most of the time they met someone or dived back into their complex software/test problem.
My solution is to help those people to set up a simple GTD system. As chairman or facilitator I take a pen and sticky notes with me. For every action we identify and assign to someone, I write down a stick note and hand the sticky note over to the person. He walks back to his desk with the note, it doesn’t matter how many conversation he has on the way to his desk or how complex his current assignment is, he has a sticky note to remember him of the action.
This gives doesn’t guarantee 100% success. However, it will help you in making sure actions are done.
Do you have any other ideas to make sure actions are done?
Update 18 September 2017:
I only use Evernote nowadays. They have introduced reminders. The reminders made it for me possible to drop Remember the Milk. If you want to read more about digital note taking also check this page: https://www.cloudwards.net/best-note-taking-apps/.