Management actions and alerts
Keeping track of everything that needs to be done
Running an organization means doing things. Managing an organization means deciding what things to do, deciding what order to do them in, and remembering to do them.
The 'things to be done' in an organization can be divided into two types: routine tasks carried out in the normal operation of the organization, and one-off or irregular tasks, not explicitly defined elsewhere in your management system. These one-off tasks can include —
- License and contract actions like renewals, options, and reports
- Audit finding follow-ups
- Management projects
- Improvement initiatives
- Ad hoc tasks
If you are in the early stages of business start-up and development, you will have a comprehensive action list: numerous tasks that will emerge systematically from your planning, or that simply occur to you as you proceed. I must remember to...
The management challenge is keep track of these tasks, bring them to people's attention when they are coming due, and to ensure they are completed. A particular difficulty is matters that will require attention some years into the future, as may be the case with contract and license renewals. It is risky to rely on any individual's calendar to provide a reminder for something well into the future — by the time the matter comes up, the individual might have moved on to another position or another organization, or they might be sick or on leave.
The register of management actions
The Phrontex register of management actions provides a simple solution. A management action is anything that the organization must remember to do. Each action is assigned to a position in the organization, has a due date, and a alert date. The register provides a single management report of all current actions: coming due, in progress, complete.
Management actions can be created for events well into the future. You set the due date, when the action must be completed and the alert date, when the accountable position should be notified that the matter is coming up. You can give as much lead time as you need.
- When the alert date is reached, Phrontex sends an email to the person who holds the accountable position. The email is sent to the current holder of the position, not the person who held the position when the management action was created.
- The accountable position must acknowledge the action, by clicking a link in the email or by visiting the Phrontex page and updating it. This changes the status of the action from alerted to in progress.
- If the action is not acknowledged or the email can't be sent at all, Phrontex escalates the alert to a more senior position and the action will be highlighted on the management actions report until someone accepts responsibility for it.