Action Planning Dos and Don'ts


  • Complete an action plan for each strategic goal.
  • Complete an action plan for each organisational function e.g., marketing, development, finance, personnel etc., as well as for each project/service.
  • Ensure you use SMART targets in action plans.
  • Include several methods for verifying and evaluating the implementation of the action plan.
  • Identify who will complete each action and according to what timeline.
  • Specify the relationship of each action plan to the organisation's overall action plan.
  • Ensure each manager and employee has an action plan that contributes to the overall. These plans, in total, should depict how the action plans of the major functions will be implemented. Again, specify the relationship of these action plans to the organisation's overall action plan.
  • Ensure that each individual contributes to and agrees with their plans.
  • Share completed action plans with all managers.
  • Revisit your action plans regularly and follow the monitoring, review and evaluation requirements.
  • Use team meetings, supervision and appraisal as opportunities to review action plans.


  • Write action plans on your own with no involvement of other managers or staff.
  • Leave actions open-ended in terms of time or who will be responsible.
  • Allow plans to be developed without reference to the organisationís overall goals and plan.
  • Put completed action plans away and leave them until next year.
  • Expect staff to follow action plans without appropriate support.