If we track our Action Items in our RAID Log, does that mean it’s a good idea to put all of the project plan tasks in a RAID Log, too? You could, but I think it’s better to differentiate between Action Items and Project Activities and to track them separately.
Action Items NOT = Project Activities
Although Action Items and project activities are both things that need to get done, they are inherently different, so should be tracked and managed differently. Whether you use a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and detailed schedule or an agile backlog and sprints, project activities are focused on achieving the deliverables of the project. They have been accepted by the team, your sponsor, stakeholders or product owner as a planned part of the project and are usually built into a schedule or sprint and have budget and resource associated with them. As such, they should be under some level of change control.
Action Items, on the other hand, come up frequently and are much ‘lighter’ in nature than project activities. They don’t have a direct impact on project deliverables but help support the efficient delivery of the project.
Deciding whether an activity is an Action Item in your RAID log or a project activity in your plan is a judgment call. But generally, if it meets any of the following criteria, it should go into your plan rather than the Action Item list.
An activity should go in your Project Plan rather than your RAID Action Item list if:
- It contributes directly to the creation of a project deliverable
- It is on your plan’s critical path and impacts the schedule
- It is important enough to track on a status report
- It has cost or “story points” associated with it
- It has predecessors and successors
…then it is probably a project activity and shouldn’t be tracked in your RAID log Action Items.