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Are agenda items and next actions synonymous?

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  • Are agenda items and next actions synonymous?

    I have taken to the process of creating agenda items for important colleagues. If I wasn't using an agenda I can understand that each of these would be a separate NA item.

    The difference being that when an item is in an agenda it is hidden until I see/speak with that person. Placing agenda items infers there will be a delay until I get to the action. Is that what others have found?

    Also, it seems to me that many of these are not singular things to talk about and so I should be creating an associated project just as I would in the NA approach.

    In turn, I would need to review agendas alongside NA's when doing my weekly review.

    Is my understanding correct?

    Thanks in advance, David

  • #2
    Agendas are a Context

    I just see agendas as another context. They may sometimes be part of an as-yet-unlisted project in your system, or they may be the context for a next action in an existing project. If they are part of an unlisted project, then add the project to your project list, as you would for any new project. In this case the next action just happens to have a "1:1 (person's name)" context as opposed to "errands", "calls", or what have you. If the next action in question relates to an existing project, then enter the next action on your list, noting that its context is "1:1 (person's name)."

    In the course of doing your work if you know you have an upcoming meeting with that person, you should review your agenda items with that person to see if there is anything else you want to bring up during that meeting. Conversely, if you're looking at your work from a project view and you see that a next action involves an agenda context item with a given person, then you may want to schedule a meeting with them.

    Hope this helps,


    • #3

      Thanks for your reply. I will add projects as necessary to match agenda items I've put forward. If nothing comes from the meeting, then the project will be 'done', otherwise it may generate further next actions which will be tracked by the appropriate context.



      • #4
        First, agendas are great for grouping actions for frequent communications, so yes, they're actions. However, it's absolutely crucial that agendas be used only for *regular* meetings, i.e., those that are automatic, say once-a-week or so. If you don't have meetings reliably, then put them on your regular NAs list.

        That said, there are some actions which don't mind sitting for a while for opportunistic meetings. For example, I put car issues under my mechanic's agenda, and medical issues (non-pressing) under my MD's agenda.