Plan of Attack!

Businesses often have so much going on that it is necessary to sit down and plan for the future. A fantastic method to monitor and control plans is by preparing Action Plans for businesses. This promotes good management of companies. It is not only pointing out specific key areas that need improvement but also enables the responsibility to be assigned to an individual, timeframe to have it completed by which ultimately enhances good time management amongst employees.
Preparing a basic Action Plan involves three steps:

  • List the tasks/activities to be completed and prioritise them
  • Schedule the tasks, and
  • Decide who will be responsible for completing each task.

The task list includes what needs to be done in order for the plan to be completed. Several tasks may need to be completed together and others may depend on another task being finished.

Because the order of tasks is important, you now need to prepare a timeframe or schedule. The schedule shows the start date for each task and the end date by which each needs to be completed. It also includes an estimate of the time and resources required to complete the task; and how it will be monitored.

The final planning activity is to assign the responsibility for the various tasks to individual team members. The responsibility may be a one off activity or it may be something new that needs to be included in the team member’s role. In either case the people involved need to include their allocated tasks in their work schedules.

The following table shows what a basic Action Plan could look like for a defined project:

As the team leader responsible for planning, you will need to ensure that the people assigned each responsibility have the skills, preparation and time to complete their activity. You also need to check that the necessary equipment, materials and people are available in the required timeframe.  Ensure that every employee relevant to the Action Plan is issued a copy and fully understand its contents. Meeting should be held periodically to monitor the progress and to revise the action plan where necessary.