How to develop a plan for action

Here is the situation: You have agreed on a solution to a particular management problem and you now want to convert that solution into a step-by-step approach for action. In simple terms, who is to do what by when? You will need to develop an action plan - and you can be assured of success if you follow these steps during an action-planning session...

1. Express your solution as a series of goals.

Having agreed on a solution to a particular problem within your organisation, you first need to define that solution in terms of a number of goals or objectives. For example, each goal could be expressed as follows: ‘For us to…, we would need to…’. Record each goal at the top of a whiteboard or sheet of paper.

2. Generate a list of actions for each goal.

Use brainstorming to compile a list of actions to achieve a particular goal and record these below that goal. Arrange this list of suggested actions in sequential order.

3. Prepare a timeline.

Beginning with a time point labelled ‘Now’ and ending with a point labelled ‘Goal achieved’, build a timeline on which you allocate dates by which you intend to complete each of the sequential actions listed under a particular goal. It is important that you get both sequence and timing right if you are to reach ‘Goal achieved’ effectively.

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