Actions, actions, everywhere………. but no corrective action!

Paul Downing

It seems to be the bain of most modern businesses, meetings, audits, reviews, they are all followed up with a list sent out to the attendees with corrective actions and a date by which to complete them. The more meetings there are the more actions seem to be generated.

Don’t get me wrong, of course this is how most companies progress and move forward, however in my experience of auditing and working with many companies each year, there seems to be an over-abundance of documented actions but a lack of  real “action!”

Of course it is the response to these proposed actions that actually makes the business improvement or change that is required, not the listing of the action itself, however for multiple reasons not all get acted upon as they should. How many meetings have you been to where the first agenda item is to review the minutes or actions from the previous meeting? How many meetings have you been to where all the previous actions have been completed?

So what is the answer?

With ever pressing demands on businesses managers to complete an ever increasing workload and wear multiple hats, it is essential that all responses to audit findings or meeting outcomes are considered and thought through.

  1. Is the action really necessary or just a nice to do?
  2. Is the named person really the best placed to complete the task?
  3. Is the corrective action really the right response to the problem?
  4. Are the timescales correct?
  5. What will happen if nothing is done?
  6. Are there already similar actions not acted upon previously?

I’ve lost count of the minuted corrective actions I’ve come across that eventually (if you wait long enough) tend to get forgotten, only to be resurrected by a new manager or ambitious junior some months or even years later, only to be lost again in the archives when it was realised that the required effort was either too much or the task wasn’t that important after all.

Declutter, focus and pursue only those actions where a tangible result can be measured and it is agreed by all that some positive outcome will result.

If you are looking to streamline your environmental, quality or energy management system or wish to drive through an environmental or energy project to completion and take the load off of your management team, please call us for information on how we can help with your next project.

Now, what’s next on my list!

Paul Downing

Paul Downing & Associates.

01428768101 or 07790147084.




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