Action Plans can range from a simple list – ‘3 things I will
do differently’ – to more complex plans with detailed steps, timescales and resources needed. When using action plans, there are a few issues to consider:
- Your action plan should have specific, measurable, achievable goals with timescales (SMART) – success cannot be measured from using vague or open-ended plans
- Share your plan with the group – public commitment encourages us to follow through on our plans
- Find a planning partner to work with, someone who can help you make decisions
- As you try to implement your action plan, you can check together what progress has been made, or discuss it on the course forum, email each other and share ideas and challenges.
We are going to start with a simple list which can then be elaborated into a more formal plan for yourself.
Action Plan Format
Using your SWOT analysis, and your refined list we will now ask you to start to create objectives and actions for yourself.
Define what you plan to do in the next week, next four weeks and over the next three months. Be realistic about what you can achieve in the light of opportunities and threats. Try to identify areas of strength to build upon and weaknesses to address.
Describe how you will know you have achieved what you set out to do, what evidence will there be that you have been successful in implementing the changes you wanted.
Set a date when you will review your progress, put it into your diary for about 3 months from today. Think about who you might share your progress with to get another opinion.
Complete the progress review and think about what has worked well and what has not, ask yourself why this was. Again, there will be some external factors that may be beyond your control, but there will also be personal factors that you might want to consider
Prepare a new action plan, building upon what you have achieved so far and addressing anything that has been challenging. Action planning is cyclical and is the basis of continuous improvement.
Download the action plan template