About two years ago, there was an uproar when Amazon’s AI-powered voice assistant Alexa chortled out of the blue without command. The creepy laugh became a hot topic on social media and eventually, Amazon released a statement, explaining that Alexa misheard some words as “Alexa, laugh”.

While Amazon managed the incident, there’s always a chance that new technology or a new product has to be recalled because of an unforeseen error.

Organizations undergo several rounds of planning to create sound strategies to overcome these challenges and deal with setbacks. They create an action plan or an actionable work plan as a blueprint that guides every member of the organization to a successful solution. An actionable work plan is useful to outline the roles, objectives and expectations for everyone in the organization.

Harappa Education’s Executing Solutions course will teach you how to overcome roadblocks and avert crises through focused and collaborative efforts. Learn how to create an effective action plan that saves time and cost without compromising on quality. Let’s look at the meaning of an action plan with an action plan for goals and examples.

What Is ‘Action Plan’?

The meaning of an action plan is having a plan to follow to solve a particular problem. It sets out the course that you should take within a predetermined time frame. It’s a management strategy to achieve improved results by taking time, cost and quality into account. An action plan or a work plan is used across sectors because it comprises four underlining steps that can be tailored to different objectives. Your organization can make an action plan for a product launch, training schedules for new employees, business development or creating a budget.

Every action plan must include these four steps for effective execution:

  1. Prioritize tasks on the basis of urgency and importance

  2. Define deliverables for every member of the team

  3. Create a schedule and categorize tasks that need to be completed

  4. Present the plan to the team to get everyone on the same page

Each step lays down the roles and responsibilities of every member of the team or the organization. The important thing to note is that everyone should be clear about what’s expected of them to avoid overlap and delay.

Action Plan For Goals

An action plan for goals is successful only if it’s executed on time. If you fail to deliver the results in the stipulated time frame, then you might have to rework your strategy. For instance, if you have to roll out a product at the end of the month, then your work plan must include due dates for sales strategies, design and product marketing, among others, to realize your objective. A delay in production can cause a delay in packaging.

The entire process works like dominos or a house of cards, as several tasks are interdependent. This is why you have to be clear about your goals before you even start implementing the plan. An action plan can be useful for business development because you’re able to visualize your goals for the next month or two and track your progress simultaneously.

Action Plan Example

Let’s take the example of a publishing house to understand the steps in an action plan:

Suppose a recently published novel has come under fire for a particularly offensive comment. The tasks that need to be taken care of include recalling every copy of the book, compensating customers and retailers, and making a formal apology through the media. In this scenario, your action plan must prioritize acknowledging your mistake in public, followed by recalling the copies. Your job is to reassure your readers that you’ll take complete responsibility for the error and do what’s needed to set things on the right path.


An action plan for goals helps organizations stay afloat during turbulent times. You can overcome any challenge if you have the right mentality to handle errors by taking corrective measures. Harappa Education’s Executing Solutions course will introduce useful frameworks such as the BLAST Approach that teaches you how not to play the blame game, listen to people, act accordingly and step-up to the task. Learn how to solve problems effectively and lead your team to success with the right toolkit to create an actionable work plan.

Explore topics such as FMEA, How to make a Project Work Plan & the Project Management Triple Constraint from our Harappa Diaries blog section and develop your skills.

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