How to develop weekly action plans to keep your team on track

Posted by on 05/08/2016
Weekly action plans are a living, working document designed to make things happen and in order to achieve your stated goal. They are meant to regularly be consulted by stakeholders.

Action plans are useful because they give you a framework for thinking about how you’ll complete a project efficiently. They help you finish activities in a sensible order, and they help you ensure that you don’t miss any key steps.

Because you are able to see each task laid out you can quickly decide which tasks you’ll delegate or outsource, which tasks you may be able to ignore and which tasks need more work.

Well written action plans ensure your team stays focused and on track.
 

How to write a weekly action plan

  • Make your goals clear. Describe it so there is a visual picture of the expected outcome. Identify how you will know when/if you have reached your destination. Describe how your goal is measured. Consider the constraints you have, like the limits on time, money, or other resources.
 
  • Make a list of the steps to get to your weekyl goals. Brainstorm ideas with your team. Write down everything you need to do on a weekly basis to achieve your goal. Focus on generating and writing as many different options and ideas as possible. At this stage try not to judge or analyse.
 
  • Consider what could get in the way of your plan. List contingency actions to mitigate these risks.
 
  • Delegate actions and accountability to individuals. Share the responsibilities equally. Consider tying responsibilities into KPIs.
 
  • Ensure that notes are taken at meetings and distributed afterwards. Appoint project managers and allocate key responsibilities.
 
  • Hold team members to real deadlines and schedule regular meetings to give updates and monitor progress.
 
  • Analyse, prioritise, and prune. Look at your list of actions. Consider what the absolutely necessary and effective steps are to achieve your goal. Identify what action items can be dropped from the plan without significant consequences for the outcome.
 
  • Organise your list into a plan. Decide on the order of your action steps. Start by looking at your key actions. For each action, what other steps should be completed before that action? Rearrange your actions and ideas into a sequence of ordered action steps. Finally, look at your plan once again. Are there any ways to simplify it even more?
 
  • Monitor the execution of your plan and review the plan regularly. How much have you progressed towards your goal by now? What new information have you got? Use this information to further adjust and optimise your plan.
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