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What Is a Work Plan? How to Make a Work Plan In 7 Steps
Before you can accomplish your project goals, you need to plan how to reach them. A work plan creates a clear path project teams can follow to reach their desired goals and objectives. Along that path will be resources, constraints and other work management elements that need to be described in your work plan.
What Is a Work Plan?
As its name suggests, a work plan is an action plan that helps project teams achieve their goals. Work plans factor in key project planning elements such as tasks, milestones, deliverables, resources, budgetary requirements and a timeline to weave it all together.
The work plan won’t be written and initiated by a single person and it should be submitted to board members and stakeholders for approval. Once approved, you can continue building out the rest of your work plan.
If you build your work plan in project management software like ProjectManager , then it’s easy to continue to iterate on your plan and make improvements over time. You can use robust project planning tools such as Gantt charts, kanban boards, project dashboards and much more. Get started today for free.
Why Do You Need a Work Plan?
As we mentioned, your work plan acts as your roadmap for the entire project execution. Not only will it keep you and your team organized, but it’ll ensure that you get buy-in from key stakeholders, related departments, relevant accountability/risk leaders and more.
Additionally, it helps manage expectations on both the stakeholder level as well as on the managerial and team member level—everyone that starts off on the right foot has a better chance of landing on the right foot, too.
Work plans guide project teams in a similar way project plans do. However, there’s a big difference between these two important project management documents .
Work Plan vs. Project Plan
Work plans are not as comprehensive as project plans , which have a wider scope and involve more components. The main difference between them is that project plans are created from a high-level view and address every aspect of project management. On the other hand, work plans focus on helping project teams achieve smaller objectives.
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Work Plan Template
Use this free Work Plan Template for Word to manage your projects better.
How to Make a Work Plan in 7 Steps
While work plans might take many forms, here are some simple work planning steps you can follow to make one.
1. Set Goals & Objectives
Before anything, it’s important to write down the goals and objectives that’ll be achieved through your work plan. These will describe the purpose of your plan. It’s important to use SMART goals : create goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-related. This should help you start your plan off on the right foot.
Your goals might sound like your purpose, but they’re more specific in that they’re more long-term oriented — i.e., your team learned more about the process of launching a bug fix or how to respond more directly to customer or market feedback.
Similarly, your project objectives should be measurable. For example, the objective of this project after launch is to create an increase of xx% of active monthly subscribers, or a certain dollar amount in revenue generated.
2. Define the Scope of Your Work Plan
Once you’ve identified your work plan goals, you should use a work breakdown structure (WBS) to identify all the tasks that must be executed to achieve them, which is your project scope. By breaking down your project scope, you can start assembling a team, estimating costs, creating a budget and drafting a project schedule.
3. Estimate What Resources Are Needed
When you break down your project scope using a WBS, you can better estimate what resources are needed for each task in your work plan. Make sure to include different types of project resources, such as human resources, raw materials, machinery, subcontractors or anything else that you might need for the execution of your work plan.
4. Assign Roles & Responsibilities
Now, assemble a project team and clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each member. Communicate with them and make sure they understand what their job is and how they can collaborate with each other.
5. Estimate Costs & Create a Budget
Once you have a clear idea of what resources are needed for your work plan, it’s time to estimate their costs and create a budget . To do so, simply establish a measurement unit for your labor, materials and other resources to then assign a price to them.
6. Create a Project Schedule
There are different tools and techniques you can use to create a project schedule for your work plan. In fact, most project managers use Gantt charts, project calendars, kanban boards
7. List Any Risks, Constraints and Assumptions
Remember that your work plan is the action plan that’ll guide your project, so the more details you have about constraints and potential risks, the better your team will perform their tasks to produce deliverables and achieve the goals and objectives.
Maybe some of your team members take a few sick days during this period of time; maybe unexpected tasks have to be executed; maybe some of your tools crash that requires more money pulled from the budget. Whatever your project constraints may be, factor in anything that might feel like a risk that can lead to a full-blown constraint, which may affect the completion of deliverables or even the goals and objectives of your project.
Our work plan template can help you document the steps explained above. Be sure to constantly monitor your template and update it as changes occur in your planning process. Or, if you’re looking for more dynamic project planning tools, you can use Gantt charts.
A work plan template can help you organize your thoughts, but in order to create your action plan and execute it, you’ll need dynamic project management software to help you throughout the planning, execution and monitoring phases.
Work Plan Example
Here’s a basic example to better illustrate how a work plan works. Let’s imagine you’re a business owner who wants to increase your production output by 25 percent by acquiring new machinery and hiring more production employees. While this project doesn’t involve producing tangible deliverables , you’ll still need a work plan.
Goals & Objectives It’s important to define one primary goal and then some smaller, more specific objectives needed for the completion of that goal.
Main Work Plan Goal Increase production output by 25 percent.
Work Plan Objectives
- Improve the company’s production capacity by acquiring new machinery
- Fill skill gaps in the production planning team
- Make sure machinery is well-maintained
Scope of the Work Plan Now, you should list individual activities that must be completed in order to achieve your goal and objectives. Here’s a simple breakdown of activities.
- Inspect the production line
- Perform preventive maintenance
- Optimize plant layout
- Acquire new machinery
- Assess the current team
- Hire new personnel
Resources/Roles & Responsibilities In this case, you’ll need a production manager, HR manager and maintenance team. They’re responsible for executing the tasks listed above.
Work Plan Budget Your budget should cover both the labor costs as well as the cost of the new equipment. Your labor costs will be the salaries of the production manager, HR manager and maintenance team. Make sure you estimate your project costs accurately before creating a budget.
Work Plan Schedule Define a timeframe for the analysis of your production line, the procurement of new machinery, preventive maintenance and hiring.
Risk, Assumptions & Constraints Think about any risks, assumptions or constraints that might affect your work plan. The best place to start is the triple constraint of time, budget and resources.
Creating a Work Plan With Project Management Software
To learn more about how project management tools such as Gantt charts , kanban boards and project dashboards can help you make the perfect work plan, watch the short video below. We’ll quickly show you all the ways that project planning software can improve your planning, execution and reporting—so you can make that work plan with confidence.
ProjectManager Can Help You With Your Work Plan
Getting every detail of a work plan sorted is no easy task—from managing your team to managing your stakeholders. It requires a delicate balance of understanding your project timeline, the tasks that make up the project scope, potential risks , balancing a budget and allocating resources. Not to mention, you’ll have to do this while keeping the customers’ ultimate needs and the project goals and objectives in mind.
With ProjectManager , our online Gantt charts let you schedule your entire project timeline, assign tasks, create dependencies and oversee tracking. Additionally, we have team collaboration features that allow your staff and managers to comment on tasks, attach necessary files, and interact with each other no matter where they’re located.
ProjectManager also features resource management tools that let you balance the hours worked across your team. This helps ensure that your time, tools and resources are balanced no matter what.
Related Work Management Content
- What Is Work Management? Creating a Work Management System
- Best Work Management Software of 2023 for Remote Teams
- What is a Statement of Work? Definition & Examples
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Creating a work plan and don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. With ProjectManager , you’ll get access to online software that helps you to better track your work plan from milestone to milestone. Start your free 30-day trial with ProjectManager today.
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How to create a work plan (with template)
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What is a work plan?
3 great reasons to use a work plan, work plan template and examples, types of work plans, and once you knock it out of the park….
You did it — you got promoted or landed your dream job .
After a lot of hard work, you’re ready to make your mark with your next project. You want to make a great first impression with your boss. Whether you've got big ideas to pitch or big challenges being pitched at you, execution matters.
You know that you need to communicate your ideas clearly. But you also need to communicate your ability to execute on them and rally the resources to help. That starts with demonstrating that you have a solid grasp of the nature, size, and complexity of the project.
How? By creating a work plan that shows your approach and lets others see where they fit in. A work plan isn't always right, but it gets people to ask the right questions.
So before you change the world, think about your approach. Are you following a known methodology? Your manager will need specifics, everything from your project timelines to a high-level action plan. (And, eventually, a detailed action plan.)
In short, you’ll need a work plan — a roadmap for accomplishing your work goals . Whether you want to streamline your team's workflow, build a new app, or put on the event of the century, a strategic plan will take you there.
Let’s talk about how to create a work plan t hat meets your project management goals and achieves the outcomes and impact that matter.
A work plan is a document that helps everyone communicate more clearly about the project.
A good work plan lays out the action steps needed to complete a project.
It makes clear what the desired outcome is and the major streams of activities or deliverables that will accomplish that outcome. It also highlights needed resources or participation and dependencies.
Key stakeholders should review and provide input to a plan before the project begins. This process is lengthy, but you’ll have a clear roadmap that everyone supports when it’s ready (more on how to create an action plan and achieve your goals in a moment).
A final work plan typically includes:
- Goals and project objectives
- Project tasks
- Task assignments (if working with a team)
- Key deliverables
- Required resources
- Timelines, including due dates
It’s tempting to avoid creating such a rigorous document for your workflow. After all, this process is both complicated and somewhat time-consuming. But extra work now will pay off in the long run.
Creating a plan forces you to really consider how to achieve the objective. The process forces you to ask hard questions, like who will do the work, and is there enough time?
Here are three reasons to pull together a work plan:
1. It’ll help your team stay on task
A great work plan establishes deadlines and tasks. Listing out who is responsible for what keeps everyone accountable. People can also see how their work fits into the bigger picture. That can make it more rewarding but also helps them make better decisions.
2. Manage expectations
By the time you start the project, your plan will have made the rounds to all relevant stakeholders — including management. This process takes time and effort. But without it, people will inevitably throw curveballs at you throughout the project. (They still may but you are standing on more firm footing with a good work plan).
Everyone should be clear on what the plan requires and what it can accomplish. It surfaces mismatched expectations and different interpretations at the outset to reduce confusion and conflict down the road. Plus, it will highlight requirements and constraints that you might not have been aware of, like special permissions, that you can add to the plan.
3. It’ll make it easy to know when to celebrate
Tracking your goals and milestones gives you a reason to celebrate with your team. Nothing feels better than crossing a significant item off the list. Plus, you can share your successes with management, making you and your team look good.
Understanding what level of detail is appropriate and how to present your plan to different stakeholders are some of the skills that BetterUp can help you develop.
You can create a work plan in Microsoft Word, Excel, or a dedicated project management software. You can also find work plan templates online. We've provided a step-by-step template with examples below.
No matter what you choose, there are some fundamental principles to follow. First, start simple. At every step, try to tell a clear, easily understood story. Second, get test it on the high-level before you get too detailed. Share it with your manager, experienced team members, or trusted peers and listen for what resonates or where they have questions.
An example can help you understand how the process works. So imagine you’re the head of a public relations department at an outdoor equipment company. In this role, one of your goals is to organize a fundraiser for a high-profile local not-for-profit. Let’s prepare your work plan to pitch to your CEO.
Step 1: Define the “why” of your project
In your work plan document, you’ll need to explain:
- The purpose of this endeavor. How does it fit into the company's big picture? What will it bring to the organization? Provide a clear explanation .
- The background and wider context of this project. Demonstrate where the project fits in the company's business plan or key objectives. It can also be helpful to show how the project fits into the company’s core values .
In the outdoor equipment company’s case, you want to show the company’s commitment to the local community. This helps build trust with customers and employees, who are the pillars of the company’s success.
And because you sell outdoor equipment, your charity of choice is an environmental group. This perfectly aligns with the outdoorsy image of your organization.
Step 2: Set your project schedule
It’s always good to have a clear deadline for a project . A time-bound project helps you to prioritize and get things done. Plus, having a deadline can help you manage your time effectively .
In this example, your time frame is clear: You have until the date of the event. Pick a placeholder date to help you establish the schedule. Keep in mind the event date could change during discussions with stakeholders.
You will also need start dates and end dates for each aspect of the project, such as creating promo materials and guest invitations. Determine which of these dates are fixed and which have some flexibility. Don't create a plan that relies on the best-case scenario every step of the way.
Be sure to assign team members to these tasks.
Step 3: Clearly state your goals
This is where you list clear, achievable objectives. Consider using the SMART goals technique . This will help you brainstorm specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based objectives.
Be sure to also define key performance indicators (KPIs). These are the tools you need to measure success.
For your fundraiser, a donation goal of $100,000 and an attendance rate of 50% would be reasonable indicators of success.
Step 4: Go over your constraints
Your goals should be consistent with your chosen timeline, budget, and resources. You probably found barriers in the planning process, so make sure the project’s scope is realistic. Don’t promise a moon landing if you don’t have money for a rocket.
Your event should have a realistic way of meeting its goals of $100,000. Does your company have connections in the community? Will you have many high-profile guests who can make large donations? Are they guaranteed to show up if they RSVP?
Answer these questions honestly, think imaginatively about alternatives, and adjust your goals accordingly.
Step 5: Discuss risk and accountability
Think of your plan from every angle . What are your core dependencies? What could go wrong? Whether it’s unexpected employee turnover or bad weather forcing the event indoors, be clear about what could prevent an ideal outcome and have a backup plan. Have several and specify what conditions would trigger a contingency plan in advance.
Every work plan will be different. As t his work plan template shows they vary depending on the type of project, the number of people involved, and who will be using the plan each day
The nature of these strategies makes them hard to categorize, but we can boil them down to two major types:
Employee work plan
These plans are smaller in scope, focusing on simple projects within a department. They aim to help your team achieve its internal goals — thus negating the need for upper management approval. Usually, these small projects fall within your purview as a department head or manager.
An employee work plan includes things like:
Materials and expenses required for the project
Deadlines and estimated date for completion
Manager work plan
A manager's work plan is more appropriate for large projects. They involve long-term goals and strategies, and may require help from other departments. These projects tend to have:
The projected impact on the company
Detailed risk analyses
Granular cost breakdowns and budgets
Because of their size and complexity, these plans often require approval from the higher-ups.
Let’s come back to your mountain equipment company fundraiser. This project would be considered a manager plan. It’s expensive, could significantly impact the company’s brand image, and involves multiple stakeholders outside of your department. Within the plan, you might find tasks that you can assign to your employees on a smaller scale — but that’s still part of the manager’s role.
Project management plans are essential for any team leader , but they’re not everything. Having and communicating a vision and leading a team all the way through execution are important skills. Now that you kn ow how to create a solid work plan, yo u’re on your way.
BetterUp can help you level up your leadership skills to get everyone on board with your work plans. We’re here to help you create a plan to crush your goals (in the best possible way).
Content Marketing Manager, ACC
Member story: working effectively with stakeholders on complex projects
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How to develop an effective work plan in minutes
In order to develop an effective work plan you'll need to clearly understand what you're trying to achieve. ensuring a favorable outcome of a work plan often comes down to the manner in which you manage your goals and objectives, and how you measure success. a ready-made, customizable work plan template is an intelligent first step to reaching your goals..
What is a work plan?
Manage any plan or project in an intuitive way with monday.com.
4 tips for creating a successful work plan
- Work your way backwards from the final goal Planning activities can be accomplished by working backward from the final goal with core initiatives arranged hierarchically. Developing the plan can be achieved through iterative refinements of strategy, objectives and the underlying tactics. Gating factors should be accounted for in the development of a straw man outline. The main objectives and summary checklist should be included as the first step of the process.
- Establish goals with measurable deliverables Once the project outline is complete, it’s important to define clear realistic deliverables as part of the action plan. Milestones allow progress to be tracked against deliverables within a results-oriented framework. A timeline can be instrumental in identifying what needs to happen and when.
- Create realistic objectives that are relevant to the stated goals A good plan will often fan out from goal to tactic. For example, a single goal might be supported by a small number of strategies, each with a single or a small number of objectives. Objectives will often contain many tactics which should comprise the concrete actions to be accomplished within an achievable time frame. The more granular the tactical plan, the easier it will be to follow. Tasks can often be broken down into sub-tasks which represent individual units of work resulting in identifiable deliverables. As the project commences, it's important to track against the agreed-upon deliverables.
- Define responsibilities and roles in the work plan Allocating responsibilities among designated stakeholders with clearly assigned tasks is a key component of the operation plan. That way, all members of the team can function according to the team charter.
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Work Plan | Meaning and Definition
Work Plan is an execution strategy that helps in achieving different Key Results. It comprises specific steps to complete a project, initiative, and activities that could help in achieving the desired results. They helps in achieving the OKRs by providing a roadmap of initiatives.
Reasons to use a work plan
Here are certain reasons to make use of a work plan in an organization:
1. Helps to stay aligned with the goal
A great plan helps the team members to stay aligned with their interpersonal goals as well as team goals. People also notice how their work is making a change and makes it even more rewarding by making better decisions.
2. Manage expectations
When you are starting a project it is necessary to keep in mind about all the relevant stakeholders of the project. This task consumes a lot of time and efforts. But it’s results outshine the efforts and time consumed.
Everyone should be clear on the point that what are their tasks and how to accomplish those tasks.
3. It will make it easy to know when to celebrate
Tracking your goals and accomplishments provides a reason to celebrate. Nothing can beat the happiness of achieving the milestones.
Types of Work Plans
Majorly, there are two types of work plans:
1. Employee Work Plans
The scope of these kinds of projects are small as it focuses on department wise goals. Usually these kinds of projects fall under the department head or the manager.
The work plan of an employee includes:
- Specific project Goals
- Budget of the project
- Materials and expenses required
- Estimated deadline of completion
2. Manager Work Plans
A manager’s work plan is more related to the large projects. They basically involves long term goals and strategies. These projects majorly have:
- Impact of the project on the company
- Detailed analysis of the risk
- Cost breakdown and budget
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What is Corporate Planning? Types, Process & Importance (2023)
Planning is considered an indispensable part of businesses, as it offers direction to complete daily actions easily. Corporate planning helps prepare the required course of action to complete different business activities. You will be able to execute the business plan easily through the corporate planning process.
As you gain an understanding of corporate planning, you will be able to work in an efficient manner. As you read this article, you will understand what corporate planning is, the different types of corporate planning, and the various steps involved in the creation of a corporate plan.
What is Corporate Planning?
Corporate planning refers to the processes by which different kinds of businesses create different kinds of strategies to accomplish different business objectives. It also helps meet various kinds of business goals easily.
The corporate planning process includes strategy direction, strategy definition, resource allocation, and decision-making. With corporate planning, you can be assured that you will be able to accomplish all the business functions —- and operations properly.
It also helps the team work toward similar goals. Furthermore, corporate planning is critical in identifying the critical challenges to achieving business objectives. It refers to a dynamic and continuous process that will last through the business’s life.
Importance of Corporate Planning
It is not possible to perform business operations without a proper corporate plan. The actions and principles that are mentioned in the corporate plan help bring the business plans to life. If you are willing to enhance the returns on investment of the business to 25 percent in the next few years, you should come up with a proper corporate plan.
It is useful in visualizing the steps; you need to get there internally. An integral aspect of turning a profit is decreasing operating costs. Now, we will discuss the benefits of corporate planning:
Offer clear goals for the business enterprise.
Corporate planning has become the need of the hour as it provides a sense of direction for the professionals who are working in a business enterprise. Through corporate planning, you will be able to take the right actions with the utmost certainty, as it includes a plan that guides different actions. As a result, you will be able to comprehend what you require to successfully achieve your business objectives.
Help with resource allocation
Among the instances of corporate or organizational resources are money, equipment, time, information, and infrastructure knowledge. The knowledge of infrastructure includes functionality, procedures, and systems.
The information, on the other hand, refers to external and internal data and the latest trends. Corporate planning helps allocate efficient resources, reduce costs, decrease waste, and boost profitability.
Boost the communication between employers and employees.
With the implementation of corporate planning, you will be capable of easing the group participation process, which helps execute the decisions. It helps to have a prerequisite understanding of the strategies and plans.
It assures that the employees will be able to execute the tasks efficiently. In addition, it helps get the proper review and feedback from the team. Gaining an understanding of the different areas helps boost efficiency. In addition, it improves the workplace culture.
Communicating the brand message
As you define the vision and mission statements, you will be able to define the core values of the business enterprise. It helps convey the brand message effectively. With the implementation of the corporate plan, you will be successful in communicating the brand message to the employees, customers, investors, shareholders, and creditors.
Create better strategies through a local approach.
The term “strategy” refers to an approach you can take to achieve the business’s objectives successfully. If the goal of your business is to create a product that will become the category leader in sales revenue by 2023, you need to come up with a strategy that will convince potential buyers that the specific product is the best in the market.
It can be achieved by investing in different advertising campaigns for the specific product. As you opt for corporate planning, you will be capable of easing the strategy formulation process as it adopts a methodical and logical approach. Moreover, it plays an integral role in making the decision-making process easy.
Types of Corporate Planning
While drafting the corporate plan, you should connect the specific areas present in the silos. Now, you should come up with corporate plans that will pull together and cut across various kinds of work in the specific company. Now, we will tell about the different types of corporate planning, implemented at the company:
Operational planning involves taking the proper business plans, in which they lay out the actions, and using them to reach the business objectives internally. Individuals are assigned to take the necessary ownership of the specific actions in the operational plan.
Choosing the OKR framework, or objectives and key results is useful in moving the high-level plans to the individual action level. Implementation of the model helps business leaders accomplish their strategic objectives.
Speaking of the team level, the employees and managers will review the strategic objectives of the business and create the goals. Such a process leads to clear ownership over the smaller objectives that feed into the massive business objectives of the business enterprise.
This kind of corporate planning process helps with resource evaluation. It helps recognize the gaps, which should be filled to accomplish the business results. It is essential that the department and business leaders enter into the right conversation, which helps recognize the company resources necessary to conduct the business plan.
This kind of planning involves breaking the business plan into different individual projects with defined goals. Such plans offer a blueprint for different project managers. They help keep the resources, schedules, and costs on track, which helps deliver the proper results. As the operational planning process connects the project and strategic planning processes, the project planning is tactical.
This kind of corporate planning includes defining the objectives and determining the ways to achieve them through steps and actions. The business takes this step after the formulation of the strategic plan. Thus, you will be able to break the strategic plan down into smaller objectives.
It refers to the process by which different kinds of business enterprises create strategies. It assures that the business organization will respond to the specific event, which will affect the operations. It assures that the organization can resume its usual activities after the occurrence of disruptive events and a natural disaster.
Corporate Planning Process
Let’s check out the different phases of corporate planning:
Creation of mission and vision statements for the company
The Monday statement includes the goals of the particular business and the world. It incorporates the primary industry, key services, and products of the business enterprises.
Creation of corporate objectives
As people use different objectives interchangeably, they include certain differences. The goal indicates the short-term statement, defining the goals of the business within a certain period. The objective defines the measurable and actionable step that will take you towards a specific objective. As you try to create objectives for a specific department, you should be specific and detailed.
Taking the strengths and weaknesses of the business into account
After setting the goals, you should take the weaknesses and strengths of the business enterprise into account. SWOT analysis is a common approach to executing this. To conduct this analysis, you need to enlist the corresponding characteristics in every category, after which you should capitalize on the opportunities and strengths to neutralize and counteract the weaknesses of the business enterprise. It is useful in finding potential challenges, which helps accomplish the business objectives.
Integration between long-term and short-term plans
While creating corporate plans, it is of paramount importance to take the long-term and short-term business goals into account. It is possible to achieve short-term goals in as little as 6 months to 2 years. Long-term business objectives, on the other hand, can be met in 3-5 years.
After having a thorough understanding of the business objectives, you should work toward the plan’s implementation. At this point, the action plan is developed. It includes the responsibilities that are taken on as well as the expected timeline for completion. Moreover, you should track the plans and avoid specific challenges. After this, you should set up regular meetings for the review of the action plan’s progress.
The last step involves evaluating the performance. The objective is the alignment of expectations with the plan’s contribution. It is useful in measuring the impact and progress.
Tips to craft an effective corporate plan
Now, here are some pointers for developing an effective corporate plan:
Make the plan public.
It is essential that the whole business enterprise ensure the success of corporate planning. So, you should take steps so that every employee can access the plan. You can also consider sharing it with the department leader and board members for the maintenance of commitment and accountability.
Reduction in annual to quarterly plans
You should reduce the plan to specific management priorities along with the deadlines. You should increase the plan’s frequency to measure the progress. If you come across a challenge, it is recommended that you make certain corrections to the specific quarterly plans.
Drafting action plans
Making action plans will assist you in remaining committed and motivated to the company’s goals. These kinds of action plans play an integral role in completing short-term objectives within a specified time period. It decreases the period necessary for the objectives’ creation.
Executing regular meetings
As you conduct meetings with the employees of the business enterprise regularly, you will be able to review the priorities and KPI s’ progress. Such kinds of meetings are useful for finding the right solutions. As a result, you will be able to make changes as needed.
If you are looking for a suitable opportunity to manage the business properly, it is essential to go for proper corporate planning. The above-mentioned insights and tips help to deliver useful tips which will ensure business growth. Apart from corporate planning you also need to understand functional planning .
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Definition of a Work Plan
by David Weedmark
Published on 13 Sep 2019
Work plans are often associated with project management, but you don't have to be a certified project manager to benefit from the efficiency work plans can bring to your business. Any job that you need to do, from mopping floors to installing a new computer network, can be described as a project. A work plan describes any project from beginning to end, detailing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and, when appropriate, how much should be spent. A work plan can be designed for one employee or a team working on the same project.
Work plan definition: A strategy designed to solve problems and boost employee productivity by listing the goal, strategy, tasks, objectives and tactics for any project.
Importance of Work Plans
If employees don't know exactly what's expected of them, it would unreasonable to expect them to excel at their jobs. A small business owner may know every facet of a project, but to employees — especially when they're new — the process may look like a labyrinth.
A work plan is much like a road map, detailing the project from beginning to end. It serves two purposes. First, it's a way of planning the project as you're writing it. Secondly, it serves as a guide to employees to ensure nothing has been missed.
Components of a Work Plan
In most cases, a work plan describes the purpose or goal of the project, what strategies and tactics you want to be used, the specific tasks that are required to complete the project and its objectives.
- Goal: This is the purpose of the project and, in most cases, identifies the project completion.
- Strategy: This is a brief statement explaining how the project should be accomplished.
- Tasks: Specific tasks that need to be accomplished to reach the goal.
Objectives: These are measurable or quantifiable
steps that lead toward the project goal. Often described as deliverables, these may be important tasks or the results of some tasks. * Tactics: These are specific ways in which a task should be done.
In some cases, strategies and tactics may be very detailed or just give brief instructions on the methods you want to be used in the project. In all cases, however, the tasks and objectives should be as specific as possible. In other words, it may not always be important to describe how something should be done, but it's always important to specify what must be done.
Work Plan Examples for Employees
Depending on the size and scope of a project, a work plan could consist of just a few tasks or several dozen. For a basic work plan, suppose you need someone to qualify sales leads for your business that you gathered at a recent trade show. A simple work plan may read as follows:
- Goal: To qualify 100 sales leads.
- Objective: To book 35 sales appointments.
- Strategy: To speak to each person who provided a phone number and book an appointment for the sales team.
- Task 1: Call each person, introduce yourself and explain why you're calling.
- Task 2: Read the sales script and book a sales appointment.
- Task 3: Confirm the prospect's name, email address and physical address.
- Task 4: Enter the appointment date in the calendar.
- Tactics: Speak in a pleasant, professional manner. Stand while speaking and smile. People can hear the difference in your voice when you smile.
As another example, suppose you own a small retail shop and it's time to do inventory. You've recently purchased a barcode reader and want everything scanned and entered into a spreadsheet. In this example, the tactics represent what-if scenarios to help the employees should they encounter problems completing the tasks.
- Goal: To count all items for sale in the store.
- Objective: To have all items for sale entered in an Excel spreadsheet.
- Strategy: Having a new barcode reader should make the process much faster this quarter. If an item can't be scanned, the manager will count it manually.
- Task 1: Connect the barcode reader to the laptop and open the Inventory spreadsheet.
- Task 2: Scan each item. If the barcode reader doesn't beep, try again.
- Task 3: Replace each item where it was on the shelf.
- Task 4: Save the spreadsheet and close the laptop.
- Tactic 1: Begin with the top shelf at the front of the room, count each item to the bottom of the shelf, then continue to the next shelf.
- Tactic 2: If an item doesn't have a barcode or can't be scanned, write down the count and a description of the item on paper. Place a yellow sticker on the shelf below the item.