If you want to turn your visions in life into reality, then securing yourself an action plan can help you with that. Having an action plan will not only help you in the organization, but it will also help you in becoming more efficient and feel more accountable. If you own a business, having an action plan can help you in meeting all your goals and objectives in an effective and orderly fashion.
With that, we have provided you action plan templates and examples that you may consider using for your personal use or for business purposes.
Elements of a SMART Action Plan
In order to ensure that your action plan is a plan that could indeed help you get in action, then you have to make sure that your action plan is SMART enough to do so. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Learn more about SMART below and learn how to make your action plan SMART.
- Specific: The objectives you are going to include on your action plan should be specific, meaning each of it should be written clearly and should be fully detailed. The more specific you are, the bigger the chance there is for you to actually achieve just as exactly as you have specified.
- Measurable: For you to know your action plans are measurable, you will be able to easily identify what you are going to see, hear, and feel as soon as you are able to reach what you have indicated in your action plan. For it to be measurable, you might consider breaking it down into measurable elements.
- Attainable: If you do not want to get too disappointed in the event that you will not be able to accomplish all that you have written in your action plan, then make sure that your goals and objectives are realistic and attainable enough.
- Relevant: A SMART action plan consists of relevant steps and plans that can help you achieve your main goal. Make sure that every single plan and step you take in reaching your main goals can actually help you in achieving your main goals and will not just be another way for you to get distracted and sidetracked.
- Time-bound: If you are indeed a businessperson, you might already know that time equals money. And because of this, you need to put a deadline as to when you should accomplish every action you must take in order to achieve your goals. Also do keep in mind to keep your timeline attainable and flexible enough so that when unfavorable circumstances will occur, you will have no difficulty when it comes to adjusting things.
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Steps in Creating a Basic Action Plan
If it is still your first time to create an action plan, you might want to consider following these simple steps in creating even the most basic action plan that you can surely manage.
- Before anything else, you have to decide upon a specific and appropriate goal and clearly define your objectives. But also take into account that your goals are not the only thing that is important but the attainability of such goals should also be given with regard as well as the time frame and the available resources.
- If you are creating an action plan for your business, consider enlisting the help of your teammates. While this may not be allowed in some special cases, brainstorming along with your team members will not only make the process faster but it will also create stronger plans of action to be taken. Who knows? You might actually need their input in the first place.
- In coming up with the plans or the steps you need to take, ensure that these are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound). Never input vague ideas or concepts on your action plan so that you will also not come up with vague and poor results.
- When you have finally identified the steps you need to take, it is now time for you to identify who is responsible and accountable for every step indicated. The people you will assign are not necessarily responsible for the final outcome of the step that he or she assigned to but he or she is definitely obliged to assist in the entire process.
- Always make it a point that you will provide a clear schedule or timeline when it comes to when the action steps should be achieved. Aside from that, also ensure that you will break down the timeline, list the necessary resource to accomplish particular action steps, and review and update the status of each action steps as you go along the way.
Tips to Help You in Implementing Your Action Plan
The following tips can be helpful once you will already start in implementing the action plan you have created.
- Keep your focus on the matters that you need to prioritize and things that are due.
- Do not forget to mark the completed tasks—this is a confidence booster!
- If you work with a team, assign someone to every task to achieve things efficiently.
- Make it a point to discuss those tasks that are still pending.
- Ensure that every goal you have set is SMART.
- Consider working backward in order to set the milestone.
- Determine from the beginning the things that should happen in order to achieve your goals.
- Additionally, decide the specific actions required to take in order to achieve your goals.
- Put every plan and action according to a schedule in order to be organized and time-bound.
- Never fail in following through all the tasks and steps you have to act upon.
Types of Action Plan
In the business setting, particularly in management, there are three types of action plans. Find out more about these types below.
- Tactical Plans: This type of plan consists of organized sequences of steps that are specially designed to help in the execution of plans that are strategic in nature along with equally strategic goals. Even if a strategy is solely focusing on the mission, environment, and resources available, the tactics will enable one to deal primarily with the people involved and the action that needs to be done.
- Single-Use Plans: This type of plan is used in order to create development in the carrying out a course of action that has an improbable chance to be repeated sometime in the future. The usual forms of this type of plan are programs and projects. Such forms surely can happen again but what happens within such form will always vary, hence the term “single-use.”
- Standing Plans: Compared to single-use plans that are used for non-repetitive situations, the standing type of plan is used for activities that are repetitive in nature and are used in activities that occur on a regular basis over longer periods of time. There are three kinds of standing plans: procedures, rules, regulations, and policies.
Action Plan Sizes
While the size of an action plan depends on how you want it, the sizes of the action plan templates that we have here in this article come in US size with dimensions of 8.5 × 11 inches. You are not limited to that size and you can also opt for A4 sizes depending on your liking or depending on what is being asked or required.
Action Plan FAQs
1. What is an action plan?
An action plan is defined as a document that contains a list of the necessary steps you need to take in order to achieve a particular goal. It is used to make an organization’s vision to become concrete from abstract. It also contains the necessary strategies that should be used in order to achieve objectives in a more effective manner. An action plan will certainly work well if the people or the person who made it will actually put it into action.
2. What is the purpose of an action plan?
For an individual, an action plan can help him or her become disciplined when it comes to making sure that he or she is acting on the steps he or she has to take in order to attain the goal he or she has set and also to ensure that he or she has the required resources to do so. The same thing goes in the business setting but for it to be effective, it requires teamwork because one member alone could not save the entire team if the rest are slacking off.
We hope that with the help of this article, you will be able to create an action plan that will certainly put you and your team into action toward one path and that is the path toward the success of your business endeavors.