HOW TO EXECUTE AN ACTION PLAN AND FOLLOW UP YOUR RESULTS
How to execute an action plan? Is this a doubt for you or have you mastered the subject?
The truth is that many executives know how to execute an action plan and how to follow up. But the point is that many forget how important action plans are for strategic planning and ignore the due process.
Here are some tips on how to generate more results with this important tool and strengthen a culture of reaching goals with your employees.
Make use of and be inspired by a ready-to-use company action plan. Follow our steps to be sure how to execute a mistake free action plan .
How to execute an action plan
1. Action plan visibility
It is not enough to just establish an action plan. Frequent action plan follow-ups and detailed breakdowns of activities are required.
A perfect time to check the progress of an action plan is at a results meeting. The reason being that generally at these times target variances are identified and ways forward are discussed.
The action plan, in this case acts as a solution to the variances and makes achieving the goal more realistic.
Thereby, the success of the action plans established in your team is also due to the establishment of a routine and a finalized deadline. As well as the availability of the means to implement it.
For example, if an employees action is to conduct training to improve their communication, it is their role as well:
- Check and make budget allocations available for this end;
- Refer people who already have experience;
- Define an implementation methodology.
Among other measures.
Remember that the action plan is part of the whole and it serves as a “bridge” between setting goals and achievement. To arrive at a good action plan there are several methodologies such as:
- Pareto diagram;
- Ishikawa diagram that helps identify the root cause of goal deviation;
- 5W2H to establish means of carrying out the action.
2. Action plan goal?
Your team doesn’t give much importance to the action plan, but what about the goals?
This is simply because targets tend to motivate people more because they are directly linked to an ultimate goal. Be it a better performance in the company for a promotion, a variable compensation program or simply for an business culture incorporated in results.
Action plans however, are not so obviously linked. So why not create a goal to complete action plans?
By demonstrating the importance of action plans by setting completion goals, improves the urgency of employees to carry them out.
For this, an implementation schedule can be critical for periodic reviews and follow-ups of the action plan. Thereby, as needs change an action plan can be adjusted.
3. Format of action plan
What is the best format for planning and tracking the action plan?
There are companies that simply take a piece of paper and hand-write the actions that need to be performed.
We don’t even have to name the many risks this attitude offers, right? A paper can be lost, thrown in the trash, but even if this doesn’t happen, no plan that is written on paper is really taken seriously.
It will be easily forgotten without evidence to prove that it once existed.
Also, we have Excel, which can be good for performing the 5W2H methodology. Mainly because it offers something that’s more visual and can be saved, then it gets logged. But is it the most effective way?
In order for people on your team to truly layout an action plan with ultimate responsibility, timelines, root causes and related goals, the software can be the critical element in building that importance and commitment.
With a system the manager can view which action plans are in progress and therefore, send emails reminding you that some have yet to be completed or that the deadline is going to be late.
4. Example of a ready-made company action plan
We’ve created an example of a ready-made company action plan so you can be inspired to build yours and know how to execute an action plan:
- What – What to do: Hire online EAD learning courses to train sales staff.
- Why – Why HR has used the competency matrix and found that the sales force needs to develop a range of skills such as negotiating, prospecting and qualifying leads, among others.
- Where – where it will be done: The course research will be done online and the courses will be made available on the company intranet.
- Who – by whom will it be done: By the HR coordinator and two area analysts.
- When – When: Research begins immediately, course selection should be submitted within 15 days to the board, who will make a decision 7 days later. Implementation of the first course should take place 45 days after this definition.
- How – How to: Search for courses on the Internet, gather recommendations from those who have already taken them, ask for “trial” courses, request visits from business representatives, if possible, and set budgets for at least 5 possible alternatives.
- How much – how much it will cost to do: The budget should not exceed $ 7,500 per month during the first year.
Want to know even more about how to execute an action plan? Keep reading!
5- Strategy and prioritization
Not having an action plan makes your goals extremely susceptible to errors. On the other hand, having an action plan that is not efficient and does not bring the employee closer to the goal can be equally problematic.
Having evidence that the action plan is contributing to the goals is critical in a results-driven culture. For this, an action plan that prioritizes time and puts effort into practical activities, that can be measured and bring the strategic side of planning and implementation to everyone, is what companies should be seeking.
Therefore, it’s possible to highlight the importance of this management tool.
SRATWs ONE is an enterprise performance management software that brings people, operations and strategy together. This way you can manage action plans, look for improvement opportunities, and manage your project portfolio.