The project management action plan template helps the manager to make a plan to complete a project by clarifying all the critical tasks and milestones. As we know, project management is the process of planning, managing, and organizing resources to complete a goal successfully.
Project setting goals of a project you cannot successfully complete the project. Project managers need a strategy to complete a project well, so they can share this with their team members this plan.
Each phase of project management focuses on the achievement of the ultimate goal. Whether it’s a small or complex project; the number of analyses is conducted before the execution of the project just to make sure everything goes well and to obtain deliverables well on time.
Project Management Action Plan
The project action plan is a proposed strategy or action. In project management, it’s a document that enlists each step needed to achieve the set goals.
It clarifies what resources are required to achieve the goals, sets a timeline for the completion of tasks, and defines project teams. It further answers the following questions that may arise in mind during the project planning phase;
- Has every aspect of the project been covered?
- Are there any actions that need to be taken early in the project for its success?
- What are the key tasks of the project?
- Do key tasks need to be done in what sequence to meet project deadlines?
One can skip “Gantt Chart”, “Project Schedule” or “Project Plan” considering redundant activities but the project action plan is always having a place in project management. The project action plan represents an overview of the following information;
- Project Definition
- Project Goals
- Project Deliverables
- Project Schedule
- Resources Allocation
- Project Quality Management Plan
- Project Risk Management Plan
- Project Stakeholder Management Plan
- Project Communication and Reporting Plan
The project action plan template covers the following information in detail;
- Key tasks need to be completed for achieving deliverables
- Allocated resources for each task
- Expected start and end dates
- Expected task duration
- Responsible team
- Potential Risks
- Desired Outcome
- Noted / Remarks
Benefits of Project Action Plan Templates
Project managers need project management templates i.e; action plan, dashboard, portfolio management, etc to give the progress reports of a project. A project takes more than implementation to be successful; it takes giving continuous reports to the higher officials.
Some more benefits of project management templates are:
- Project planning templates help you to administrate your work efficiently. You can complete your project on time.
- These templates provide you a structure of a project so you can overcome any problem when working on the project.
- Project management templates are like guidelines that make sure that important data is saved. It also ensures a logical flow of information among team members.
- By giving a clear picture of the work done, these templates help in better decision-making.
- These templates can speed up the work and bring patients between the team members and the project manager.
- Project management templates save you from useless and unneeded efforts.
- Templates help to save their time, money, energy and ease the burden of project managers when they have to make reports to investors.
How to make A Project Management Action Plan
The project action plan is also a key part of the project progress report. A project progress report is presented to stakeholders who explain what activities have been completed, what is currently in process, and what is coming next?
These questions are answered in the action plan. Below are the guidelines to make an effective project action plan template;
- Make Action Steps Template: It’s a simple template in tabular form that represents all tasks that are required to achieve a goal. It presents a similar kind of information that is available on project schedules such as Actions/Tasks, dates, duration, required resources, responsible teams, and comments.
- Define Communication Media: It’s recommended to clearly define communication media’s which will be used to keep the whole project management team on the same page. Project management software is used for this purpose which gives real-time information about tasks that have been completed and what tasks are in progress.
- Setup Alerts: Alerts are set up to reduce the possibility of ignorance of important events such as an alert that should be launched whenever a new task is added, or any change is made in existing tasks and on the achievement of milestones during the project lifecycle.
The following points should also be considered for making the above action plan successful,
- Use color schemes for highlighting priorities and current focuses.
- Discuss pending tasks with the stakeholder in the form of a project progress report.
Implementation of Project Action Plan
After making a project action plan now it’s time to implement it. Here are some considerations;
For illustration purposes, we can use the KPI chart, PERT chart, and PIE, etc. But besides these, there are many project documentation templates that can be used. That describes actual performance over desired requirements as well as over project progress report.
Setting Real-time Alert System: This system provides help to managers and other working staff which task is completed and outstanding. We can also use timeline and milestone documents for this purpose.
Usage of Milestone Documents: This document helps to understand either task is completed or not and that can help us to evaluate project progress.
Communicate With Working Staff: It is the most important step that can lead a project towards success. If there is proper and professional communication between employee and project manager the project success rate will increase to 40 percent.
So, it’s highly recommended to conduct discussion sessions across the whole project team members that help to understand project current situations, problems, and solutions for them.
How to Use Project Action Plan Excel Template
Here are 3 phases to use this action plan;
- Action Phase
- Project Timeline phase
- Project Resources Phase
In this phase 1st, we prepare a complete task list or we can say action list that includes all kinds of tasks. Then we set priorities for all tasks that help the team which task should complete first and which is dependant. We can name them low, medium, and high.
After that, we set all task goals on the project life cycle that helps users to understand the project’s current phases like initiation, planning, execution, or closure, etc.
However, it is beneficial to assign Roles and responsibilities against all the tasks. For this purpose, you can use RACI Chart Template.
As we know that, reporting is not an easy task, but if you have correct stats and data you can build a professional error-free project status report. In this action plan case, you have to make a status report to track progress.
Project Timeline phase:
Now, 1st we make a proper schedule for all tasks in which we set time frames, task starts, and deadlines. This technique keeps the project plan on track.
But 1st you have to plan starting date that describes when this action plan will start. After that, you have to conduct brainstorming sessions with team members and stakeholders to set deadlines, staff roaster, work schedule, holidays or non-working days, hours, etc.
Project Resources Phase:
Now, it’s time to assign duties and tasks. In this phase, we plan which team or individuals will perform on that task or plan. What kind of resources they will need or consume? How costly is this action plan? Either is it within the planned budget or getting outstanding? etc.