Action Plans are useful for small projects, where deadlines are not particularly important or strenuous, and where you don’t need to co-ordinate other people. As your projects grow, however, you’ll need to develop more formal project management skills, particularly if you’re responsible for scheduling other people’s time, or need to complete projects to tight deadlines.
How to create project action plan
- Set a Clear Objective
The first thing that must be done, before any action plan can begin, is set a clear objective. Clear objectives are finite, they are measurable, they are realistic and they are meaningful. A clear objective might be, “Gain three new clients this month.
- Write the Objective at the Top of a Piece of Paper
By writing the objective down, you are taking it seriously. If the objective has a deadline (in the above example it would be the end of the month), then write down this date as well. If you would rather work on a computer, open a new Word Document and place this information at the top of the new document.
- Start Planning from the Bottom-Up
By planning from the bottom-up, you can account for the deliverables first. In the above example, the objective is to gain three new clients in one month. Each client can be split apart into one deliverable. At the bottom of the page you would write “Client one”, “Client two” and “Client three.” Then, you move up from each of these, one step at a time. Ask yourself, “What action is necessary in order to obtain this result?” Suggest the Mnemonic Device, “SCHEMES” for ensuring that no task is left uncovered.
SCHEMES stands for: That is, check that your plan is comprehensive.
Not all of your action plans will require tasks of every type. You may find that your action plans only require tasks of two or three types. The important thing at this phase is to get down on paper all of the tasks your objective requires to be completed in order to be realized.
- Give your Plan Deadlines
Once you have identified the relevant tasks required to accomplish your objective, you should set deadlines for each of these tasks to be completed. Tasks without deadlines do not become completed tasks.
- Monitor Your Plan
Finally, you will want to monitor your plan to make sure it is progressing. Make sure you haven’t left important tasks out, skipped tasks or ventured way off course on meeting the objective. By monitoring and measuring progress, you can ensure that objectives are reached and increase productivity.