On our last show James and Megan talked about forecasting the future by creating a compelling Vision and documenting clear Business Objectives. That needs to be completed, along with your Mission and Core Values before we go forward into building your plan of action.
Why is the action plan needed?
- Everything we’ve built so far has been in preparation for this step. High-level planning is great, but the rubber meets the road when we dig into the details and map out what we’re going to DO over the next 90 days.
- We’re moving from strategic to tactical.
- Tactical without strategy is just doing things. Tactical with strategy is doing the right things.
What is a hierarchical action plan?
- A hierarchy simply means we’re taking things at a high-level and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
- This is the breakdown to breakthrough portion of the plan, and where the real work will take place.
- This is critical for the assignment of resources (time, money, people, etc.) and for everyone understanding their role. Small actions today are pointing toward bigger accomplishments outlined for down the road.
How do you build an action plan?
- Start by looking over the work completed so far on the SWOT, Mission Statement, Core Values, Vision Narrative, and Business Objectives. Go back and do them if you haven’t already.
- Do a SWOT Analysis to get into action thinking mode.
- Review the original SWOT data and enter action-oriented responses to each entry.
- What will you DO to leverage strengths and opportunities, and eliminate or minimize weaknesses and threats?
- Outline the Key Strategies or Projects required to accomplish your business objectives.
- Think in terms of what is most important over the next 90 days, even if the effort will take longer.
- Prioritize the projects into must do and should do lists.
- This is NOT about every little thing you do in your business…it’s about the most important things you’re going to give extra attention to.
- Define Goals for each of the must do projects.
- What will be required to complete each project successfully?
- Think in terms of nouns and accomplishments/deliverables.
- Each project may have one or more goals.
- Define Action Steps to achieve each goal.
- Under each goal, document the actions required to make it happen. When all the actions are completed, so is the goal.
- Think in terms of verbs and stay action-oriented.
- The level of detail may vary based on your style and the communication required for your team to understand.
- Each action should also have start and end dates, and they should be assigned to a single POC (though others may work or contribute to it).
- Complete SSP Step 6 – SWOT Analysis
- Complete SSP Step 7 – Must Do Projects
- Complete SSP Step 8 – Major Immediate Goals
- Complete SSP Step 9 – Action Steps