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Construction Project ACTION ITEMS

By Gary Kennedy, P. Eng., PMP (2023-05-25)

As a Freelance Senior PM via LPS Inc. I've worked in various capacities on a diverse collection of projects (as indicated by the photos in this gallery:

I've seen a wide variety of big and small companies perform business in different ways, but I found that SUCCESSFUL companies tend to have:

(a) Very good Safety, Health, & Environment programs

(b) Pleasant, tidy, respectful, and diverse workplaces

(c) Documented job expectations and project role descriptions for PROJECT team alignment AND performance metrics

Item (c), for example, can help inspire the performance of project personnel, especially "internal" personnel of your company.

For construction projects, in bi-weekly (or sometimes weekly) project progress meetings you may have internal and external (from outside your core company) team members. The Action Items are mutually confirmed during the meeting, and soon issued after the meeting. Most of these Action Items are important to clear by the agreed deadlines. I have considered it a bi-weekly contract, within the bigger project contract, to organize our deliverables at ground level.

(Of course - ALL SCALED TO SIZE AND SIMPLICITY. Our handwritten, brief, pencil-and-paper Minutes, in remote highway and bridge locations, using carbon-copy sheets and/or Polaroid copies, worked just fine in the 1980's and early 1990's.)

Trans Labrador Highway Construction 1994
Trans Labrador Hwy Construction, 1994, c/o G Kennedy

I find that professionalism, sincere interest in the work, reputation with coworkers, sense of duty, and other good traits motivate most folks to get those Action Items addressed as best as possible.

QUESTION: Besides contract terms, what else enhances project personnel performance when it comes to delivering on expectations, like reviewing and responding to the bi-weekly action items?

I believe, like in many other occupational situations, there seems to be a place for Recognition, Incentives (including NOT receiving Incentives), and other Performance Responses.

"ACCOUNTABILITY" is required to make our team work, not only for Action Items from meetings, but everything else that people are responsible for on the job.

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Further Reading:

  • Brownlee, D. (2008). "The Secrets to Running Project Status Meetings that Work!" Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2008—North America, Denver, CO. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

  • Means, J., Adams, T., & Spivey, M. (2007). "Facilitating Effective Project Meetings." Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2007—North America, Atlanta, GA. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

  • Whitten, N. (1999). "How to Run an Effective Meeting". PM Network, 13(6), 19.

NEW (2023-07-23)

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