(Action Item is an annoying business phrase and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
As is typical with many of the annoying phrases managers love to over-utter, action item suffers from both the extra, unnecessary word and the desire to make something routine sound more important.
In this case, to almost sound like a superhero.
Often, when the something is really, really, really important, it will be promoted to major action item.
We’re talking about a task here; but, of course, “task” lacks the excitement and forward progress implications you get with action item. Too bad, we say.
We’re well beyond the time to strike these clichés and/or cool-sounding phrases from our business vocabulary when a simple, single word will suffice. We are in the age of texting and chat; and no one is impressed by your use of action item when you could just say task.
Replacement phrases: Task; To do
See also: Deliverables
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon.