5 Ways to Write Action Plans that Get Results

Here are five ways to write an Action Plan to make your business more competitive.

Action Plans fail if they are too difficult to use or too hard for readers to understand Who does What and When. Make your Action Plan simple to follow, with clear goals and concrete deadlines.

Action item Log

[Learn more about these MS Word and Excel templates here]

5 Action Plan Guidelines

Identify the key goals of the Action Plan. Don’t get lost in the details. Identify the main objectives you want to achieve first and write the document around this.

  1. Think Smart – Create Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based (SMART) goals in when writing an action plan.
  2. Prioritize – List the most important activities that will be necessary to achieve each goal. Keep these realistic and ensure that the tasks can be performed within the timeframes.
  3. Ownership – Identify who owns each activity. Assign a person to each major activity and make them accountable for its accomplishment. Note that you can also assign someone to check that this task is completed, such as a Project Manager. This means that they will not actually perform the action steps but monitor its progress.
  4. Start and End Dates – You will have more success if you assign clear and achievable dates for both the start and end dates. Make sure that you do not assign too many tasks to the same person – unless you have too – as this may defeat the process and prove unreasonable.
  5. Review – Finally, create a regular review schedule where you review the progress on the action plan and make the necessary corrections.


Update the Action Plan template when you have made the corrections and share the correct version with the project team. Destroy out-dated copies.

Next week, we will look at how to encourage others to get involved and show them the benefit the Action Plan offers to their business unit.

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[Learn more about these MS Word and Excel templates here]

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