Action plan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

An action plan is a detailed plan outlining actions needed to reach one or more goals.

Advantages of using action plans[edit]

Producing an action plan can be beneficial not only for individual basis but also for businesses. For example, it allows project managers or any member of a group to monitor their progress and take each task step-by-step, therefore allowing them to handle the project efficiently. The advantage of doing this is, it allows you to execute a structured plan for the end goal you intend to achieve. Furthermore, it provides the team with appropriate foundations, therefore prioritising the amount of time you spend on each task. This will then prevent any sidetracking that may occur. Lastly it creates a bond within a team, as each member is aware of their individual role, as well as providing necessary information to ensure success of the project.[1][2]

Issues faced with action planning[edit]

When using action plans limitations will need to be considered. Firstly, each member of the team will need to be allocated individual roles and tasks which will require completion by a set date. This can be demanding for some, due to coping with the stress and distractions that may occur. Another issue is not being guided thoroughly and effectively, leading to the lack of effort and passion a member has for the project. In addition to this, if the communication throughout the team is non-existent, key information will not reach members of the group, causing lack of confidence. Lastly failing to obtain the goal you set to reach can lead to frustration and in turn the planning would have been a waste of time.[3]

Reasons for creating an action plan[edit]

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.[4]

Creating an action plan[edit]

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.[4][5]

Executing an action plan[edit]

Mike Desjardins has suggested the following[6]

  • 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[edit]

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.


  1. ^ "diffundo". Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Smriti Chand. "What are the Advantages and Potential Disadvantages of Planning under Management?". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Leigh Ann Morgan. "Advantages and Disadvantages of Goal Setting". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Chapter 8. Developing a Strategic Plan". Community Toolbox. University of Kansas. 2013. 
  5. ^ "Guidance to making an action plan". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Mike Desjardins (13 December 2011). "How to execute corporate action plans effectively". Business In Vancouver. Retrieved 22 March 2014.