An action plan refers to a detailed document which consists of the steps that must be taken in a specific order in order to achieve a goal. In basic terms, the action plan consists of the details related to the goal such as the number of resources and the type of resources allocated to the work, the timeline for the tasks to be completed in a specific manner. Each action plan is created with a strategy, formulated because this helps in carrying out the project or the goal with more efficiency. The action plan which is effective will give us clearly defined steps with the concrete timetable to reach the goals.
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Before creating the action plan, the person should keep a note of the components of the action plan that are necessary to create it. Some of the main elements of the action plan are the ideas, milestones, schedules (which might be daily, weekly, monthly or annually), resources that should be allocated to the tasks to be done, etc.
The user should be clear of the tasks or goals that he is planning to achieve as unclear thoughts will lead to an action plan that is not effective and consequently fails to achieve the goals. The user should also be realistic in creating the action plan with the help of specific deliverables to be achieved. The milestones should be set such that they can be measurable with a clear division of the time among the small activities. The larger tasks or goals should be divided into smaller tasks which can be tracked effectively with proper timelines assigned to it. Scheduled lists should be made and they are to be tracked effectively from time to time to avoid any delay that might occur due to improper follow-ups. After the components of the action plan are finalized, an effective presentation should be made so that it can be used by team members and made easily accessible to all the team members.
The benefit of having the action plan format is that it can be used in future for all the goals that are to be achieved without any time delay and it offers a lot of convenience to the users. Below are the steps that are to be followed while creating an action plan:
- Always brainstorm with the team members while discussing the action plan because the inputs from the team members and their opinions always make it more effective.
- The user should choose the appropriate goal and he should clearly define the objectives of the goal by considering the importance of the goal and its measurability.
- The action steps that are taken should be concrete and also measurable with the timelines created for tracking them.
- Identify the team members who are to be assigned for achieving the goal and also the people who will be supporting the goal.
- Next step is to provide the clear schedule for the team members who are responsible for completing the task after breaking it into smaller tasks.
- After the action plan format is prepared, review it before the action plan is implemented and after implementation, track and monitor the plan regularly.
- Make any changes if needed. Finally, all the key people involved in the project should be communicated about the action plan regularly for achieving the goals.
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Action plan looks like a template with various subdivisions of the goals. Some of the main components of the action plan are mentioned below:
The Objective of the goal which specifies the outcome to be achieved.
Next element is the Action or the activity and here all the tasks are described in detail with what to be done and the resources are allocated for each of them.
The resources allocated will be specified with a clear definition of the work to be done with the subdivision of the works.
The timelines are mentioned in the next section for each of the goals with the dates and the time mentioned.
These dates are planned prior to the action plan preparation and the timelines are to be developed such that they are measurable.
They should not be overlapped because it creates the confusion in the action plan. The final section is the status of the objectives that are planned.
The various kinds of status that will be mentioned in this column are Initiated, Ongoing and Completed stages and they are allocated as per the real time status of the goals progress.
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The action plan presentation should be clear and concise such that all the team members of the project should be able to understand it completely. It helps in clear knowledge on the status of the project, timelines attached to it and other details of the project. The action plan presentation should always address the key strategic goals, help the team members in measuring the progress of the goals over the time, deliver the practical steps and tasks to the team members and other resources and finally, it should assure the team that the defined strategic objectives are implemented.
The action plan presentation is created with the help of an action plan template which consists of all the elements of the action plan prepared. The presentation should consist of the team members who are to be included, the assigned team leaders for priorities, releases of daily, weekly and monthly activities and keeping the track of the status of the deliverables with regular meetings with required team members conducted.
The action plan presentation should be concise, feasible, inspiring and clear so that it motivates the people in achieving the goals. Also, the action plan should be regularly updated with the changes that are discussed during the meetings so that the team members will be aware of the changes made. This helps in the smooth flow of information within the team from top to bottom which is needed to avoid any discrepancies among the team members. The action plan presentation should be circulated regularly among the team members for an effective way of completing the tasks assigned. It would be more effective if there is a dedicated team for generating the action plan and its presentation to the team members. The team dedicated for this can be given the task of the regular update of the plan so that it improves the productivity in the project.
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