Making decisions is one of the key aspects of running a business. Once you make a decision, you have to implement it. And implementation requires careful planning.

This is where an action plan comes in.

Let's say your company decides to open a new regional office in another city. 

The first step is to create a list of things to take into account before finalizing anything. The management will likely look at the location, size, neighborhood, and most importantly, the budget for the new office. They will consider each factor to make an informed decision. This is part of an action plan.

When small-scale and large-scale organizations implement strategies they usually follow a set of rules and guidelines. These guidelines are part of a business action plan. A strategic action plan is a visual tool that helps you see all the tasks you need to complete to reach an effective solution. This is especially useful in a time of crisis when you have to solve a problem.

Let’s look at how to make an action plan with an action plan sample. 

How To Make An Action Plan

Think of a project action plan as the rulebook to successful problem-solving

The most important aspect of solving an organizational problem is clarity about roles and responsibilities, types of tasks, and timelines. Everyone on the team must know who is responsible for which tasks and when each task is due. 

To avoid confusion and overlap, a project work plan should be shared with the team so that everyone is on the same page. 

Here are the four essential steps for creating a business work plan:

  1. Prioritize Your Tasks

One of the most important aspects of formulating an action plan is prioritizing tasks. You may have to do 10 things. To prioritize takes efficiently, assess the importance of each task and then put them in order. This is especially useful when you’re dealing with a complex problem that doesn’t have one clear-cut solution. A great way to classify tasks is based on their urgency and importance.

You can also break down bigger tasks into smaller chunks. This will give you a better idea of what needs to be done and when.

  1. Define Deliverables

The second important aspect is deciding the due dates and deadlines. A clear timeline in your project work plan will help you stay on top of the tasks. The sheer volume of tasks may throw you off the path, but with proper deadlines, you can easily manage to check each task off the list. Focus on clearly-defined deliverables and intimate each member of the team about their respective tasks along with the deadlines.

  1. Create A Schedule

Create a schedule that will help you evaluate serial tasks and parallel tasks to save time and costs. Serial tasks are those that depend on other tasks while some parallel tasks are those that can be tackled simultaneously. If one person is working on task A, then their work may affect the person working on task B. So, everyone must be clear on their roles and stick to the schedule for timely execution of the project work plan.

  1. Present The Plan To The Team

The final step for creating a  project action plan is intimation and communication. Once you’re done finalizing tasks based on importance, timeline, and dependency, you have to share it with the rest of the team. This step is critical because this is where everyone can pitch in ideas and opinions about the business action plan. Iron out the details, address queries or concerns and finish with a team huddle to get things going. Everyone needs to understand how vital it is to execute the plan on time.

 

Work Plan Example

Let’s take an action plan sample of a business development action plan to highlight each step in the process. 

Starch Industries is a potato chip brand with five unique flavors. The business development team has identified a new market for sodas to expand the brand. A business development action plan is presented that lays out steps for data collection, manufacturing and packaging, marketing and ad strategies, and budgeting for the project. The parameters that define each step include time, cost, and quality. This is the action plan. Once it is ready, the team can swing into action and work efficiently towards their goal.

Conclusion

A project work plan makes it easier to check each task off the list so that you can stick to the timeline. If there’s any misstep, you can revisit the action plan and modify it to mitigate failures.

Harappa Education’s Executing Solutions course contains useful tools and frameworks that will help you create an execution strategy to solve problems, achieve organizational goals, and save time and cost. You can ensure that you meet your organizational targets with a sound development action plan. Use your action plan as a yardstick to measure your progress so that you’re always on top of things.


Explore topics such as FMEA AnalysisAction Plan & the Project Management Triple Constraint from our Harappa Diaries blog section and develop your skills.

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