Business Planning·

Download Action Plan Template for free

Action Plan Template Free Download

Having a clearly outlined plan for the future is crucial. What's even more important is the planning process. This is where you turn your dreams as a company into actionable goals and steps and it's also where the action plan template comes into play.

Here’s a sample Action Plan template that can be easily customized and adapted to meet your requirements. It’s free to download and use.

What is an action plan template?

As its name suggests, an action plan template explains in detail the course of action needed for the successful completion of a project. This plan is made up of project goals and milestones that need to be achieved and the steps you need to take to achieve those goals. Subsequently, these steps feature tasks known as action items.

It's essentially a list of tasks your team should complete. It facilitates strategic planning and helps break down complex tasks into smaller, actionable steps everyone can take to get closer to goal completion.

An action plan template is a crucial planning tool that describes the team, time, and resources required to finish a project successfully. The individual tasks in an action plan template are organized by a timeline and arranged in order of priority. The template also displays the team members who are responsible for each of those items on the task list.

There are several types of action plan templates available. These include business, strategic and corrective templates. The plan included in this article can be used for any of those purposes. All you need to do is to adjust it to fit your needs.

What is the purpose of an action plan template?

The first step to achieving your goals as a business is to put in the necessary action. However, many businesses fail to realize their goals because they either don't take action or don't know how to do it.

If there is no clear course of action, goals can become quite overwhelming. Businesses that have teams of people doing things haphazardly end up being bogged down by the process. As a result, they don't realize growth.

A project action plan template can help businesses to achieve their goals easier, faster, and smoother. Work will be distributed evenly among teams, and everyone will have an idea of what to do and when to start.

Businesses that use action plan templates can easily streamline their work process, plan their budgets and quickly achieve their long-term goals.

What are some different types of action plans?

Depending on your needs and resource requirements, there are different sorts of action plans. Some examples include:

- Corrective action plan template

- Sales action plan template

- Business action plan template

- Employee action plan template

- Personal action plan template

- Detailed work plan template

- Simple action plan template

And many others.

How to prepare an action plan template

A smart action plan template should accommodate different projects, activities, and transactions. When creating a successful action plan, you need to be mindful of the steps that need to be followed. It would be a good idea to let other entities working with you know how they may contribute to the drafting of an effective action plan.

An action plan template should include the following:

  • A section to input a short description of the common goal to be achieved
  • Steps that should be taken to reach that larger goal along with other project objectives
  • Individuals who will be tasked with different responsibilities
  • Due dates and deadlines for each of the tasks to ensure long-term success
  • The necessary resources to complete the tasks according to your success metrics
  • Ways of evaluating the progress

There are several factors you should consider when creating an action plan. You should look into the availability and optimized usage of your resources.

This requires you to be very strategic, and it's crucial to the realization of goals you have envisioned. Our well-thought-out and editable action plan template will enable you to start planning right away, and it contains all of the necessary sections for you to fill in, whether you're chasing organizational goals or personal goals.

Factors to look into during action plan development

You need to understand all the elements and variables that come into play when using our sample action plan template. You should also know what to prioritize to get the maximum benefits from your action plan template. Below are some factors to consider once you decide to work on an action plan:

  • The range of activities that will be carried out within a given period
  • Schedule of the action plan implementation - a simple to-do list will do wonders here
  • Resources needed for all the tasks in the action plan to be completed successfully
  • The workforce needed to execute the action plan.
  • Attainability of the action plan
  • The steps that need to be completed in chronological order
  • Factors that can affect the effectiveness of the action plan
  • The total budget of the action plan to get it to completion status

How to use our action plan template

Our action plan template is split into three sections. Each section has its unique steps.

Section one – action steps

Priority: Each task in the action plan has a priority assigned to it. This determines whether a task is a high, medium, or low priority. All this is useful in making a practical action plan, be it for a marketing strategy, sales team plan, evaluation plan or something else.

Tasks: This section is where you must list all tasks that need to be completed to achieve the project's goal. Be thorough and do your research. The more detailed this section is, the better. You want to list out manageable tasks that can be achieved in the valuable time you have.

Phase: This shows you how the steps are being carried out over the course of the project life cycle. Projects usually have the planning, execution, and closing stages. Project planning tools can be of massive help here.

Assigned: This section indicates the team member responsible for completing a particular task. Most project planning software has separate tags for this.

Status: This is where you can monitor the progress of each assigned task. Completion percentages represent progress in the task status.

Section two – timeline

Start Date: This section is used to set a schedule. For proper planning, each task is tagged with a specific time to keep the project on track and ensure the path to success. You can use something as simple as Google Sheets or Google Docs to deliver this part of the work.

Due Date: People working on the tasks can check due dates in this section. This makes it easy to stay updated when it comes to when a task must be completed.

Planned Hours: In this section, time is allocated to tasks. Each task will have an estimated amount of time required for it to be completed.

Section three – resources

Department: This subsection shows the department that is responsible for the completion of each task.

Materials Required: Lists all the materials that are needed to complete a task. This includes software, equipment, materials, etc.

Cost: A clear budget is needed for each task, and this section shows the amount of money allotted to a specific task.

Notes: This subsection can be used to input any other information that doesn't fit all the other categories.

Advantages of using a strategic action plan template

Below are some of the advantages of using an action plan template.

  • It gives your business a crystal clear course of action, with larger goals broken down into manageable steps.
  • It shows key performance indicators on a project timeline, keeping the team aligned every step of the way. 
  • An action plan template saves time. Instead of creating an action plan from scratch each time you have a project, you will have a solid starting point.
  • An action plan template allows you to focus on your tasks without distractions, making every project a simple project you can take on.
  • It's easier for team members to become committed with a structured action plan template.
  • It allows you to monitor your business's progress easily through key metrics.
  • Your team members will feel more motivated and driven with a solid action plan and will have real time access to progress tracking.

Having an action plan template enables you to streamline your goals. With a clear course of action, business goals become more possible.

Tips for using an action plan

A plan of action template provides a framework for thinking pragmatically about achieving your goals. With this template, work will be done more efficiently and effectively. When using an action plan template, ensure that you chart your time and resources in a manner that allows the job to be done quickly as you put the plan into action.

When creating an action plan using this template, ensure that your goals meet the following criteria so that they are SMART goals:

Specific: Your overall goal should be clear and easy to understand for everyone in the project. It should also be properly defined, unambiguous, and narrow. The most successful strategies are those where the goal is defined with laser precision.

Measurable: It's important to have goals that can be measured so you can tell whether or not progress is being made. For example, a marketing plan can have different metrics for each marketing channel.

Attainable: Goals have to be big, but they should remain within the realms of possibility. There is no point in setting goals that your team can not achieve within a reasonable timeframe. The goal-setting process should ensure that task owners set goals they can realistically achieve.

Relevant: Your set goals must fit into your business's values, purpose, and general objectives. Otherwise, you could be achieving project progress but that won't be actual progress since the tasks are not relevant for the achievement of goals.

Timely or time-based: Goals must also be achievable within a specific amount of time. This cultivates a sense of urgency and motivates your team. You should choose a time frame to complete the list of actions.

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