Action Plan Template using Gantt Charts

Every project starts with a list of things that need to be done in order to accomplish a certain goal. Lists naturally help to accomplish tasks and they also help to promote confidence in people’s ability to making things happen. In project management, an action plan can help you and your team achieve a common goal by providing structure, objectives, and accountability.

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What Is an Action Plan?

An action plan can be defined as a document that lists a proposed strategy in the form of a plan of steps needed to achieve a certain goal. It is, essentially, a list of tasks that must be completed in order to reach an objective, by clarifying the specific course of action, the resources needed, the timeline, and the team members or departments that will be needed in order to achieve it.

In project management, action plans can be extremely useful because many teams use them as a framework for thinking, brainstorming, and defining how to complete a project -or a stage of a project- in an effective way.

One of the great benefits of working with action plans is that, by laying down and listing each step, it assures teams that nothing is missed, and no steps fall through the cracks. Also, by documenting and listing the plan of action, you will be outlining the timeline, the resources that you will need, as well as the people that will need to be involved in order to complete the strategy.

How to Design an Action Plan

When designing or creating an action plan, you must keep in mind that you’re aiming to divide the process of reaching the goal into actionable tasks or steps based on a timeline. The purpose of each objective must be identified, as well as the actionable steps. By identifying the previous, you will gain clarity as to which department or member of your team should hold the responsibility of performing and completing those specific tasks.

In other words, action plans must include:

  • Who is going to be in charge of what – Which refers to the specific responsibilities and overall accountability.
  • When – The schedule, timeline, and duration for the entire plan.
  • The order – Which refers to the sequence and dependence of tasks.
  • The how – Or rather the technical and financial aspects of the plan.
  • The reason  – Which refers to identifying goals and also selecting indicators that can be used to track the progress of the action.

When designing and creating an action plan, you should take into consideration the following: first, focus on priorities and write them down. Afterward, take the time to consider who is the person to tackle the task and assign each activity to the person. Ask everyone to stay involved and to mark completed tasks so that you’re fully aware of the outcome and the progress. Be sure to discuss any pending or late tasks, this way, you can foresee any delays on your plan.

What Are the Main Contents of an Action Plan?

A well-executed action plan can turn out to be an outstanding instrument for teams because they can help people focus on detailed, specific tasks and decisions that are oriented toward accomplishing the bigger goals. They can help teams by keeping them grounded and functional.

So, in order to prepare an effective action plan, the following should be considered:

  • List the main activities, the most important elements.
  • Break those activities into manageable tasks.
  • Clarify the sequence and dependencies between those tasks.
  • Estimate the kick-off, duration, and full completion of tasks.
  • Build a clear timeline.
  • Define any milestones.
  • Analyze existing capacities and resources and determine if anything is missing.
  • Distribute tasks among your team.
  • Mark completed tasks.
  • Monitor your progress.

Creating a Timeline for Your Action Plan

There are multiple benefits of working with action plans. It helps teams outline a course of action and execute projects. By organizing information and setting down goals, it becomes easier to follow instructions and focusing on accomplishing objectives.

Project management software, such as Instagantt(Gantt Chart Maker), can be used to prepare action plans, mainly because it provides room for stages, tasks, schedules, and monitoring progress. Also, they improve teamwork by allowing online collaboration.

With Instagantt, you’ll be able to create and manage action plans in minutes. Most importantly, you will be able to keep track of all the different activities, as well as the overall progress of your plan. Thanks to its Gantt chart design, not only will you be adding tasks and assigning responsibilities, but you’ll also be managing a clear timeline for your work.

‍Take a Look at Our Free Action Plan Template

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