An action plan is a detailed strategy that outlines the steps and resources needed to achieve a specific goal. It includes a list of objectives, tasks, and responsibilities, as well as measurement criteria and deadlines for completion. In some cases, budget information may also be included. An action plan is similar to a small-scale project, as it outlines the steps and resources needed to achieve a specific outcome. The following are illustrative examples of action plans.
A project is running late and a project manager is asked to propose an action plan that will allow the project to catch up and launch on time. The project manager proposes cutting nonessential requirements, boosting the size of the testing team and asking developers to work long hours at special overtime rates. The following is an action plan representing the recommended course of action.
An airline marketing team discovers that first and business class passengers are highly dissatisfied with the meal service on a London to New York route. They create an action plan to address the issue that involves market research, experimenting with new meals and selecting new suppliers.
In some cases, action plans are a communication device that represents an extreme simplification of complex programs and projects. For example, a city might use an action plan to communicate plans to improve a neighborhood with more green space, facilities, living streets and improved train service.