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Action Plans that Work

Action plans result from a variety of initiatives including strategic planning, conversations with a boss, or brainstorms with a team. When we want to dig a little deeper, we use an action planning model that goes further than traditional action plans by identifying barriers, resources, communications, monitoring, etc.

We have included a template for this type of action planning as a downloadable Word document. This template includes just a simple table where you can list three different initiatives and then all of the important components of that initiative:

  • Beneficiary – who benefits from this initiative (not necessary the same people as those who perform)
  • Purpose – what is the overarching point of completing this initiative? What will be different?
  • KPI – Key performance Indicators are quantitative measures of change. How will you measure success?
  • Responsible personnel – who is responsible for leading this initiative?
  • Process – the steps to follow to complete the initiative (usually multiple steps)
  • Expected barriers – what might get in the way of success for this initiative? What kind of resistance might you encounter?
  • Needed resources – What will you needed to get it done: people, funding, advocacy, etc.
  • Communications plan – How will you talk about this initiative to your key stakeholders?
  • Timeline – When will the initiative take place or be completed?
  • Monitoring plan – How and how often will you track the progress of this initiative?

Downloadable Action Plan Template


Rothwell (2011). Assessing and feeding back data for organization development practitioners and trainers: Organizational diagnosis. Unpublished training material.

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