How to create a perfect Action Plan

23 Jan

ActionPlanThanks to LinkedIn, this weekend I met my old friend from high school. He is now a Manager at one of the biggest MNCs (Multi National Companies) in India. While we were talking on skype, I came to know that he is also facing similar work challenges as other Managers.

Almost all the Managers create Action Plans to make sure that a particular amount of work gets done. But most of the times, they forget to follow up on the assignments. I have seen many managers, who work on problem-and-solution kind of approach. They will have many action plans for other items, but they don’t get any priorities until failure to execute those plans disrupts the normal operation of the business. In that case, they forget about the old action plan and work on resolving the current issue. This keeps on happening again and again. So, what can you do to ensure that Action Plan is taken seriously?

I can’t tell you the perfect answer for this question, but I have developed few strategies throughout my experience, which helps me in ensuring that my Action Plans are implemented properly.
– Request your managers to kick off biweekly meeting, stressing the import-
ance of the Action Plan. This meeting will help you in getting all mangers on one page, and ensuring the importance of the Action Plans.
– Invite different team leads in these meetings to share their stories about some of the key competencies and why they are critical to the success of the organization.
– Don’t forget to send a copy of the Action Plans after every meeting. This action plan should contain: action item, person responsible to finish that task, probable end date for that task, etc.
– Ask the group members to set up a meeting with their supervisors to
go over their Action Plans as homework.
– Make sure that your supervisor or leader must attend this meeting on regular basis to stress the importance of these meetings.
– As homework, ask each participant to meet with each of his or her team members to informally listen to each worker’s career goals.
– And yeah! Don’t forget to review the results in a follow-up session. Even if your goals have changed from the last meeting, you should still follow-up. This will give you the opportunity to at least document the to-date progress of that particular action item.

So, what do you think? Do you have any other ideas to create a perfect and workable Action Plan? If you do, then please feel free to share your opinion with me. I would love to hear from you. Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi


Posted by on January 23, 2011 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management


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4 responses to “How to create a perfect Action Plan

  1. Anne

    January 24, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    The first step is that the individual creates something that is realistic and measurable. Then they need to get their supervisor’s buy-in and then should be held accountable. Otherwise, it will sit on a shelf and little will be done.

  2. Sunita

    January 24, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    One of the effective action plans I have used to manage teams is a 30-60-90 day action plan which will help keep focus on the big picture and still facilitate operational issues. Bi-weekly meetings or daily stand-up meetings to review the progress are mechanisms to keep track and can be changed, based on the team maturity.

  3. Bhavin Gandhi

    January 25, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    @Anne: Of course, creating SMART goals is indeed necessary for any kind of action plan to work. And supervisor’s buy-in is critical in the execution of the plan. In this blog, I was just trying to describe the process of how to get this done. But yeah! your idea gave me something to think about for my next blog.

  4. Bhavin Gandhi

    January 25, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    @Sunita: You are right. 30-60-90 day action plan is a good idea to track your short-term and long-term action plans. But one should also keep other action items documented, so that we can revisit them and take appropriate action when we can find resources.


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