Action planning is the planning that guides your day-to-day work. Without a strategic framework you don’t know where you are going or why you are going there. And then, it doesn’t really matter how you get there! But without an action plan, it is likely that the strategic plan will remain a grand dream and you won’t get there anyway! This toolkit aims to help you do detailed, useful action planning, and takes the user through a process that could be replicated in an organisation or project.
This toolkit is for those who have had only limited experience in planning or in action planning. Perhaps you have not been involved in running an organisation, project or department before. Or perhaps you have not been involved in the planning side of the work before. Our experience is that many organisations and projects are actually very good at action planning; once they know what needs to be done, they can plan to do it. Problems arise when this planning is not located within a strategic framework and the organisation or project keeps “doing” without thinking strategically. For those of you who are still unsure of how to plan your activities, or feel unsure that you are “doing it right”, this toolkit should be useful.
What’s in the tool
This toolkit provides a model for taking an organisation through an action planning process. It takes the user through a basic action planning format, step-by-step, covering all the key elements. By following the format, any project or organisation should be able to prepare a comprehensive action plan, in the context of a strategic planning framework. The toolkit expands on the short introduction to action planning in the toolkit “Planning overview”.
This toolkit will be useful when you need to plan operationally, on the basis of a strategic planning process, and to make a distinction between strategic planning and operational or action planning. It will also be useful when you need some ideas to help you develop an action planning process and when you are ready to move a new organisation or project from the strategic planning phase to the operational phase. Finally, it will also be handy when you feel you need to review your operational plans because, for example, your strategy has changed.