Good planning without good working is nothing ~ Dwight D Eisenhower

An action plan converts a solution to a problem into a step-by-step approach for action.  This is done by listing ‘who’ is to do ‘what’ by ‘when’.

Break your solution down into goals

Define the solutions in a series of goals.  Each goal should read ‘For us to ……….., we need to ………..’  Record each goal on a board for everyone to see.

The Action List

Use the brainstorming technique to compile a list of actions necessary to achieve a particular goal.  Arrange the list of suggested actions in sequential order.  This will give a clear direction for everyone to follow.

Set a timeline

Allocate dates for the sequential completion of actions.  Begin with a point labelled ‘now’ and ending with a point labelled ‘goal’.

Identify action affecting events

Identify any other event which would have to occur before the listed event can be addressed.  Add the relevant points to the timeline.

Identify likely problems

Develop a ‘Plan B’ for any anticipated problems.  List the problems and identify possible causes as well as solutions.  These actions are now also added to the timeline.

Monitor the action

Identify and list the ways in which your action plan will be monitored.  Also include the monitoring stages on the timeline.

Assign tasks

Ask ‘who will do what, by the date set’ and record these assigned tasks.  The keeps everyone accountable.

Finalise the details

Transfer the information on a new list specifying the required action, the person responsible and when the necessary action is to be taken.  Distribute your information now to all.

Remember to constantly monitor progress.  That way you won’t end up with nasty surprises at the end. 

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