Reasons for creating an action plan
An action plan is a tool in social planning. It is an organizational strategy to identify necessary steps towards a goal. It considers details, may help limit setting for an organization, and is efficient in that it is saving resources over trial and error. A written action plan also serves as a token for an organization's accountability.
Creating an action plan
A group needs to be convened that should include stakeholders interested in or affected by the action as necessary. The group needs to define what actions need to occur, who will carry them out and when, and for how long these actions should occur. Required financial and human resources should be estimated.
Executing an action plan
Mike Desjardins has suggested the following
- Ownership: one person must be responsible and accountable for tracing the progress, keeping team informed, ensuring timely action steps are occurring and adjusting the actions.
- Action steps should be clear and actionable versus vague ideas or thoughts.
- Responsibility: each action step needs to have one person responsible.
- Support: For each action step, determine who will support the person responsible. This can be multiple people. The key is that they’re not responsible for the action or outcome.
- Informed: keeping the right people in the communication loop for each action is critically important. Key people might need to understand the state of progress around your actions to see how they affect other actions and objectives.
- Metrics and budget: each action step must have a metric that tells us that the action is complete. For example, if you needed to survey your customers and don’t have the internal resources to run the survey or want to protect anonymity, using an outside resource will require money that might not be included in your current operating budget.
- Milestone date: date the action step needs to begin
- Completion date
Examples in the EU
Some European Union directives describe action plans in order to reach a defined target in air quality or noise reduction. If the target cannot be reached by a member state, the member needs to write a report. Sometimes action plans contain deadlines by which the plan must be ready to start the action(s) and the targets are to be reached.
- "Chapter 8. Developing a Strategic Plan". Community Toolbox. University of Kansas. 2013.
- Mike Desjardins (13 December 2011). "How to execute corporate action plans effectively". Business In Vancouver. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
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