04 Oct 15 Really Good Reasons Why You Need a Written Action Plan
It’s that time of the year again. The time of the year when you are running out of time to get stuff accomplished – to reach the goals you set for this year. What to do? What to do?
How about starting by taking that goal/idea you have been thinking about for nine months and putting it on a piece of paper? Why? Because the best ideas/goals have no value unless they are implemented and the first step in the implementation process is the development of a written Action Plan.
That’s right, a serious goal/idea actually has to survive the test of going from the “thinking about” stage to the “writing it down” stage before it can actually be implemented. BTW: a goal/idea that doesn’t need to be put in a written form to be accomplished isn’t a goal/idea but is only a task. So stop procrastinating and do it!
How important is an Action Plan for bottom line goal/idea implementation results? As calculated by the American Society of Training & Development, the odds of an idea actually being implemented or a goal being achieved are:
· 10% – hearing an idea/goal you like.
· 25% – deciding to implement the idea or achieve the goal.
· 40% – deciding when to implement the idea or achieve the goal.
· 50% – planning how you are going to do it: developing an Action Plan.
An effective Action Plan also does the following:
- It requires knowing specifically what problem is being solved and what results are being sought.
- It requires identification of The Gap – the distant between where you are and where you want to be.
- It sets forth specific written Action Steps, identifying what needs to be done to close The Gap and when they will be done.
- It identifies the resources and training needed to achieve the results, while forcing an answer to the question Is what we are doing worth the expenditure of time, energy and resources?
- It overcomes inertia by creating a bias for action.
- It creates momentum.
- It sets deadlines and milestones for each Action Step, providing clarity of purpose, intensity and a needed sense of urgency.
- It controls the optimism gene that causes 54% of humanity to underestimate how long an idea/goal will take and how much it will cost.
- It forces focus on required tasks and prevents focus on could do and want to items.
- It requires doing the next most important thing rather than something else.
11.It creates specific accountability for everyone involved.
12.It causes the realization that, regardless of the mistakes that will be made, decide and do beats think and plan.
13.It creates a willingness to improvise as required by circumstances that can’t be controlled. The goal remains the same but the way the goal is achieves remains open to change.
14.It is the difference between low and high performing individuals and teams.
- Seriously, does there need to be another reason to develop an Action Plan?
The Bottom Line: The idea/goal without the written plan to implement it accomplishes little and is nothing but a waste of time, energy and resources. So start writing!