Community Building: Introduction to Action Planning

What is an action plan?

  • An action plan outlines the steps necessary for action groups to complete in order to achieve their goals and objectives.

Why develop an action plan?

  • Action plans increase accountability and efficiency, and keep group members on task.

Who develops the action plan?

  • The action group works together to create the action plan.
  • It is important to be sure that your action group is well represented by a diverse population. The group should include people from many different sectors of the community, including: media, business community, religious groups, schools, youth organizations, social service organizations, health organizations, etc.

How to write an action plan

  • First, clarify your charge. What is your group working to accomplish? Ensure all group members are on the same page.
  • Use the action planning template to guide your planning. The action planning template can be used to help select a project by comparing and contrasting resources and support needed and available; potential barriers; and impact.
  • Once a project has been selected, name the project and determine who will be involved and what the timeline for completion is.
  • Use the action planning template to break down the steps, taking time to respond to each column: by whom, by when, resources and support available/needed, potential barriers, communication plan for implementation, and impact.
  • Review action plan carefully to check for completeness

Tips for success

  • The more detailed the action plan, the better. Take the time to plan out the steps and work through potential barriers and resources needed before starting the project.
  • Divide the project into manageable chunks. If one step seems too challenging, try to divide it into several smaller steps.
  • Follow up on the action plan regularly. Support action group members at regular meetings and keep track of accomplishments and tasks  to be completed.