Finance From A – Z: Action Plan

Term: Action Plan

Definition: A sequence of steps that must be taken, or activities that must be performed well, for a strategy to succeed.

What Does This Mean To Me:

An action plan will help move business strategies and objections from a great ideal to measurable results and are meant to be aligned with Business Goals. Each Business Goal should have a separate action plan. Each plan should contain sequential tasks that are essential to completing the plan, thereby, assisting in reaching the goal.

A properly prepared Action Plan will  measure progress and determine if goals are being accomplished or if additional adjustments are necessary.  There are eight basic components to an effective Action Plan. They are:

  1. Action Number– This is a sequential number in the order of completion
  2. Status - Not Started Completed, In Progress
  3. Task Description – A task description – it should be detailed enough that you can review it a month later and still remember what needs to be accomplished.
  4. Task Owner(s) – The Individual(s) responsible
  5. Duration – How long should it take in Days (use 1/2 day increments) If a task takes less than 1/2 day consider combing it with another item.
  6. Resources – The funds necessary to accomplish the task
  7. Start Date – When to start the task (each step must be time bound)
  8. Stop Date – When will the task be completed.

Useful Tool:

Click on the link below to download a template for a Action Plan.

Action Plan Template

Remember, an action plan should support a particular business goal and each plan should have less than 31 sequential action steps. If there are more then 30 steps you should check to see if the task are to detailed. Also, consider consolidating steps or consider splitting your one big goal into smaller multiple goals.

Comment below and let me know what you think or let me know if you have some additional information or tools for developing action plans