Who-What-When Steps to Action helps define commitments and follow-up actions on meetings. Many meetings end with an unclear “next steps” or “action items” discussion. This activity avoids creating a list of tasks that are often handed out to possibly unwilling participants with no particular deadline attached.

Running the activity:

  1. Create a table structure that outlines WHO / WHAT / WHEN as column titles.
  2. Ask participants to select (from previous activity) or write down a concrete step to which they can commit. These should be either (1) steps they are required to follow, or (2) steps they feel really strong about.
  3. Each selected concrete step will form a row on the Who-What- When table. Ask participants to:
    * Place the sticky note with the step under the WHAT column.
    * Write the name of who is going to do the step in the WHO column.
    * Define WHEN the item will be done.

By focusing the discussion on a Who/What/When format, you can connect people with clear actions they have defined and committed to. It enables participants to be clear about their commitments and accountabilities, making visible to the whole group WHO is going to do WHAT by WHEN.

This activity is inspired in the Who/What/When Matrix game in the Game Storming book.


Remote-team advice: This activity works well for remote teams. Use the tool of your choice to share and track the items.