What is an Action Plan?

Definition: An action plan is a detailed outline that describes the necessary steps to accomplish certain goal. It is a tool that contains all the pending activities that must be performed in order to complete a task or a project.

What Does Action Plan Mean?

These steps are part of an strategic plan where objectives are previously set. The activities described in the action plan are determined by deconstructing these objectives into a series of small tasks that must be completed to finish the entire project. These plans often describe details such as the nature of each activity, their correspondent time frame or due dates, the individual responsible to deliver the expected result and the resources required to complete each task.

Companies normally incorporate auditing procedures which ensure that the project’s progress can be properly assessed as a whole or individually on a per-activity basis. This includes the creation of metrics that are useful to determine performance levels. A well known technique called SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based), can serve as a guideline for the project manager to produce adequate metrics for each task. Monitoring the progress of this action plan is crucial to achieve the company’s objectives.

Example

Creative Solutions Co. is a digital marketing services company that serves medium sized health care companies. They recently moved to a bigger office, since they obtained several new advertising contracts. This sales growth also came with an increase in the number of workers and therefore, the company was forced to move to a bigger building. The company’s CEO decided to design the company’s office space as modern as possible and in order to do so he hired one of the best interior designers within the state. The project is being handled by the Infrastructure Manager of Creative Solutions and he established a three-step action plan to complete the remodeling process. The steps are the following:

First, Blueprint and design creation and review (the designer being the person responsible to deliver this). Second, budget Review and approval (the designer along with the Purchase Department being responsible for this) and third, execution (the Infrastructure, Finance and Purchase Department being the responsible figures).

After all these steps are completed the office will be ready to receive the company’s staff.