It becomes a clear accountability tool and GPS to ensure your team is focusing on the right things and hitting the key milestones on time.And with your plan being one page, you and your team can take it in with one look.Whatever the reasons, an action planner helps a lot in making the process of achieving your goals easier, faster, and smoother.
Essentially, your action plan must be adaptable to the changing circumstances of your marketplace, but also heed the high cost of lost momentum and a frustrated team if you change your company's focus too frequently.
(Our business coaching clients' staff members tell us how dizzy they feel when the founder changes too many things too frequently.)The quarter is the perfect unit of time to bridge your big-picture goals--which probably have a two- to five-year timeline or longer--and your weekly planning and daily action.
Your written criteria of success for each Focus Area give you a yardstick against which to measure progress as you go.
Also, by laying out your criteria of success for each Focus Area, you'll have clear clues for what action steps you'll need to take over the quarter--most of your action steps will be obvious.
It breaks down the goal into short and measurable tasks, which can help a person achieve what they want.
A manager, an employer, an employee, an organization or any person, can use an effective action plan.For each action step, pick a team member to be ultimately responsible for executing the step by a definite date.While you can have multiple people contribute to a specific step or steps, you need to pick one person who is tasked with the responsibility and authority to get that step done and done well. This sense of ownership is critical to your success.An effective action plan would be like a guide to someone assisting him or her to achieve a goal.Having a clear and exciting dream for the future is important, but what is equally important is the process of planning where you turn your far-fetched dreams into actionable goals or steps.Also, we suggest that for every Focus Area you pick one "Key Performance Indicator" to track.If you look to this KPI to determine your performance, you'll know if your company is on track to succeed in this Focus Area.Sure, you'll still have to take care of your company's day-to-day operational needs.But in your Focus Areas that quarter, you will invest a portion of your best resources, because you know that these are the areas that will really help you scale and develop your business.It's hard to hold someone accountable for a missed milestone if it isn't clear who was responsible.If you would like to watch a 20-minute video training on how we do our strategic planning with clients to come up with their quarterly action plan, click here and access our free Scale Tool Kit.