action registersWhen managing projects, you normally begin with the agreements, visions and plans.

You set to achieve your goals within budget and schedule, goals that are easy to write on paper and talk about in meetings but can be difficult to execute and accomplish.

Below are just some of the hair-wrenching problems that could get any project team stuck in chaos, eventually quashing the creative process:

  1. Some team members cannot get a crucial part of the project done, making it difficult for others to move on. The timetable is set back, as a result.
  2. A client calls in for revisions, wants to add more input and demands to more actively participate in the project execution.
  3. You can’t find what or who is causing the setbacks. You can’t pinpoint the process bottlenecks.
  4. Deadlines are looming. Budgetary constraints are stressing you out. Suggestions made by other team members begin to overwhelm you, and panic sets in as you work the team to the edges to accomplish your goals.

It’s a good thing there are action registers to help teams streamline the project planning and execution process.

Monday - Project Management Software

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Key Takeaways:

  • Project management often starts with clear agreements and plans, but execution can reveal numerous challenges, from team delays to client revisions.
  • An action register documents critical tasks, deadlines, costs, responsibilities, and status, offering a roadmap for project completion and accountability.
  • Improve your Action Register by using tailored tools for a unified platform, ensuring transparency and efficiency in task management and communication.
  • Transparent assignment of tasks and responsibilities, along with the use of features like Gantt charts for scheduling, can streamline project execution.
  • Adopting a single platform for all project elements can reduce errors and improve focus, ultimately enhancing project management effectiveness and success.

What is an Action Register?

First off, what is an action register? How can you create one? And how does having one solve your problems?

An action register is a tool used to break down projects into manageable, coherent pieces. It is where critical tasks, target dates and ownership responsibilities are documented. To create an action register, you have to outline the following:

  • Which tasks need to be done?
  • How much time does each task need to get done? This will record the projected timeframe for the completion of the task and will also include the target and actual completion dates.
  • How much will it cost to get a task done? This will take into account extra expenses or savings incurred if a task is completed behind or ahead of schedule.
  • Who is responsible for getting it done?
  • What is the status of each task? Have the steps been reviewed and approved by the client? Is it done, currently being done, or still in the process of being assigned?

By having an action register that you can constantly review with your client and team, you have a tool that can hold both sides accountable. This allows you to complete the project and avoid setbacks stemming from misunderstanding.

With a record you can show clients, they can see exactly how much time and money a revision or additional instruction will cost. Seeing firsthand how much a single mistake or decision affects the whole project may make them more careful. Clients can also see their billing particulars and for how long each request takes to get accomplished. They can sign off on these beforehand so that, come final billing time, there wouldn’t be any surprises.

Not all action registers are the same, however. Once poorly executed, action registers can mean more tasks to take on for the team. Instead of focusing on the main project tasks, manually checking, cross-checking and updating can take up the team’s mental energy and valuable time. And then, there are the potentially disastrous consequences a human error can wreak on the entire project.

As a manager, How Can You Improve Your Action Register?

While there is no foul-proof method, and issues will always arise, here is how you can increase the odds of successfully improving your action register as a project manager:

#1. Use tailored tools

Use tailored tools instead of spreadsheets and email threads.

Tailored tools usually make use of a single platform, and this gives the team the option to perform various tasks (share pictures, comment on discussions, upload files, etc.) without having to manually check each spreadsheet or email.

A single platform means everyone can view updates, comments, shares and instructions – all in their most recent forms. This saves time and lessens errors and mishaps caused by having checked the wrong email, read the not-most-recent instruction, and the like.

#2. Be transparent

Tasks and subtasks can be assigned to sub-leads, and everyone’s tasks can be monitored easily.

Leaders and the team can see who’s in charge of whom, who’s in charge of what, and who should be contacted for whatever issues.

For example, tools that have trackers allow coders to view the latest updates to a code, as well as to see and revert to, if needed, the previous versions that worked. Commenting and link sharing can also be enabled to enhance the experience.

#3. Create better schedules

Tools that have built-in features (such as Gantt charts) immensely help when mapping out the project’s timeline.

Schedules can be set as follows: how long each task can be accomplished, how much leeway is needed if a task is not immediately completed, and how to adjust the timeline to account for setbacks or headwinds.

Automatic adjustment of these timelines helps the team focus on accomplishing tasks instead of convening for more meetings to adjust the workflow.

Monday - Project Management Software

Our Rating

  • 100% Customizable
  • Collaborate Across Teams & Departments
  • CRM Software Integration
  • Used by 152,000 Companies

Wrapping Up

Imagine managing a team with budget and schedule information on spreadsheets, codes on various platforms, client instructions in emails, mood board in the meeting room, and mock-ups on GitHub.

Quite a handful, isn’t it?

Somewhere in those different platforms, a single note, a single update, a single missed instruction or comment could be detrimental to the project’s execution success.

When you place all your essentials in a single platform, expectations are clearly delineated and neatly managed. By improving your action register through tailored tools, your team can focus on completing tasks much faster with less human errors.

Image credit: Stuart Miles |

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