Pitt County Family Development Corporation. Inc.
|Posted on January 7, 2022 at 7:45 AM|
The Easy Guide to Developing an Effective Action Plan (September 15, 2021)
Let’s get started. It’s a new year with great possibilities. It time to take action rather than dreaming.
Here are some benefits of an action plan you should know;
• It gives you a clear direction. As an action plan highlights exactly what steps to be taken and when they should be completed, you will know exactly what you need to do.
• Having your goals written down and planned out in steps will give you a reason to stay motivated and committed throughout the project.
• With an action plan, you can track your progress toward your goal.
• Since you are listing down all the steps you need to complete in your action plan, it will help you prioritize your tasks based on effort and impact.
How to Write an Action Plan | Best Practices
From the looks of it, creating an action plan seems fairly easy. But there are several important steps you need to follow with caution in order to get the best out of it. Here’s how to write an action plan explained in 6 easy steps.
Step 1: Define your end goal
If you are not clear about what you want to do and what you want to achieve, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Planning a new initiative? Start by defining where you are and where you want to be.
Solving a problem? Analyze the situation and explore possible solutions before prioritizing them.
Then write down your goal. And before you move on to the next step, run your goal through the SMART criteria.
Step 2: List down the steps to be followed
The goal is clear. What exactly should you do to realize it?
Create a rough template to list down all the tasks to be performed, due dates and people responsible.
It’s important that you make sure that the entire team is involved in this process and has access to the document. This way everyone will be aware of their roles and responsibilities in the project.
Make sure that each task is clearly defined and is attainable. If you come across larger and more complex tasks, break them down to smaller ones that are easier to execute and manage.
Step 3: Prioritize tasks and add deadlines
It’s time to reorganize the list by prioritizing the tasks. Some steps, you may need to prioritize as they can be blocking other sub-steps.
Add deadlines, and make sure that they are realistic. Consult with the person responsible for carrying it out to understand his or her capacity before deciding on deadlines.
Step 4: Set Milestones
Milestones can be considered mini goals leading up to the main goal at the end. The advantage of adding milestones is that they give the team members to look forward to something and help them stay motivated even though the final due date is far away.
Start from the end goal and work your way back as you set milestones. Remember not to keep too little or too much time in between the milestone you set. It’s a best practice to space milestones two weeks apart.
Step 5: Identify the resources needed
Before you start your project, it’s crucial to ensure that you have all the necessary resources at hand to complete the tasks. And if they are not currently available, you need to first make a plan to acquire them.
This should also include your budget. You can assign a column of your action plan to mark the cost of each task if there are any.
Step 6: Visualize your action plan
The point of this step is to create something that everyone can understand at a glance and that can be shared with everyone.
Whether your action plan comes in the shape of a flowchart, Gantt chart, or table.
Step 7: Monitor, evaluate and update
Allocate some time to evaluate the progress you’ve made with your team.