Next Action Analysis

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Next Action Analysis(TM) is a new approach for assessing the state of your projects and next actions. It reviews your ResultsManager Daily Action dashboard and scores the state of your system on five dimensions (5 F's).

Freshness Are your next actions lingering for months?
Focus Are you trying to advance a reasonable number of projects? Do they have target dates?
Feasibility Do you have too many next actions?
Foresight Are your actions on context lists and have you identified next actions for all your projects?
Finishing Are your deadlines and targets slipping?


Installing and running the software

The fastest way to get rolling is to run the Setup Program. It will install the next action analysis macro along with macros for MindReader and Mark Task Complete. Note that is it important to turn off the ResultsManager "Support Outlook/MM synchronization" option or else the analysis will get confused.


The overall "NAA" score is an average of assessments across the five dimensions. Scoring is done according to the following table:

Dimension Attribute Goal -50%/0 Weighting
Freshness Avg Age 14 days60 days 10%
Freshness 90th percentile Age 60 days150 days10%
Focus Projects 40 30 days 10%
Focus Unprioritized Projects 0% 100% 5%
Focus Undated Projects 50% 100% 10%
FeasibilityNext Actions 80 70 20%
Finishing Overdue tasks 0 2 4%
Finishing Overdue projects 0 2 5%
Finishing Overdue to you 0 2 4%
Finishing Past Target 0 4 4%
Finishing Actions you are waiting for50 3 4%
Physical Projects w/o next steps 0 2 5%
Physical Actions w/o Context List0 8 10%
Physical Actions w/o time estimates list0 10 5%

Maximum score at goal level and then 50% reduction for each additional "-50%" amount. The last three metrics are scored linearly between the goal and 100%.

To improve your score see Next Action Analysis Advice.

Software Output

The ao_next_action_analysis.mmbas macro calculates the metrics above on your next action dashboard and adds a branch to it with the reports output.

In additional to the scoring the report includes advice on how to best improve your score and also includes several metrics and lists extracted from your dashboard including:

  • Percentage task without a context
  • Projects without next actions
  • Average age of next actions
  • total age of next actions
  • Lists of the oldest and youngest next actions
  • The total number of projects and sub-projects on your plate
  • The number of projects with target dates
  • A list of projects without target dates
  • A list of sub-projects without target dates
  • The total number of next actions
  • The total overdue and
  • The total non-next-actions that are overdue to you
  • An assessment of the percent complete on your current dashboard.

Note if you have "Map Centrals" or "Ongoing Projects" you can remove them from the lists by adding a "mc*" category code. Be careful not to have too many action living under these.

Sample Output


Log File

Updated versions of the macro save information to a log file each time you run the analysis. The central topic notes of the "My Maps\AO\NAAlog.mmap" file contains the main score along with each individual metric score. Main topic branches list the actual metrics individually. The notes are in comma delimited format so you can paste them into Excel, and then choose "Data, Text to Columns" to convert them into data.


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