Step 4 -
Create and Implement Plan of Action
"Create and Implement Plan of Action" is the fourth step of the DOH
5-Step Performance Improvement Process. Once your team has identified and
finalized priorities in
Step 3, you
are ready to begin creating and implementing plans
of action to address the priorities you have selected. Action plans create
accountability for performance improvement efforts. The plan is a tool
your team can use to clearly define the "what", "when", "where," and "how"
of the project, as well as to monitor progress.
To begin creating the
action plan, start by considering the roles and responsibilities
associated with the plan. Who will do what, and by
Who will be impacted by the plan--customers,
Who will approve the plan?
Who will be responsible for reviewing and monitoring the plan?
Who will be the "owner" of the plan? Do they
have the authority to
sufficiently advocate for the plan and all necessary
Who should be involved in the actual creation
of the plan? What are the
needed skill sets or experience of team members
(i.e., subject matter
experts, planning expertise, budget oversight, etc.)?
Next, brainstorm potential goals, objectives, and
activities for each priority. Consider what strategies will be used to
achieve the goals and objectives, as well as the resources (including staff,
budget, equipment, and technical assistance) needed to carry out the plan.
Think about the criteria that will be used to judge the effectiveness of the plan. How will you measure
progress toward your goal? How will you ensure accountability?
Your team may use specific
quality tools and techniques to assist
brainstorming potential goals, objectives, strategies, and/or activities for
your plan of action.
Before creating a new plan
of action to address a priority, the team should first consider whether
there is an existing plan that can be modified. Modification of an existing
plan can be as simple as adding activities that would make an impact on the
The actual format of your plan may
vary; however, it should include as many of the following components
Goal Statement - Desired outcome(s)
for each identified priority.
Developing a clear and concise goal statement for each priority will ensure everyone on your
team has the same outcome in mind as the team proceeds through the
performance improvement process.
SAMPLE GOAL STATEMENTS:
(1) Increase consumption of
fruits and vegetables among 1st - 3rd
graders in Sunshine County.
Improve service delivery processes.
Objective - Measures of success.
In order to create a clear plan of action, the objectives to reach a goal
should be SMART! - Specific,
Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
(1) Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables from two to three
servings per day, per child by end of school year
(2) Increase the percentage of service deliveries with no delays from
to 90% by January 30, 2012.
Strategies - Specific approaches your
team will use in order to achieve your
Activities - Individual action steps needed to complete each strategy.
The team should consider the following questions about the priority the plan
is intended to impact when choosing strategies and the activities
that will support them:
- If the priority is a strength, what can your team do to sustain the
success, or to further improve?
- If the priority is an opportunity for improvement, what barriers can be
- Does your team have the resources (staff, budget, equipment, etc.)
necessary to accomplish a proposed strategy or activity? If no, consider
what steps are necessary to obtain these resources; these steps may be
additional activities that can be added to the plan.
Sample Strategies and Activities:
(1) Strategy - Focus efforts on working with schools to increase fruit
and vegetable consumption of students while on
Activity - Conduct survey of current snacks
offered in all 1st-3rd
(2) Strategy - Review organizational service delivery processes.
Activity - Analyze current service delivery
data for each area to
determine process inefficiencies.
Evaluation Indicator(s) - Measure(s) of progress toward a goal or strategy
These indicators ultimately let your team know if the plan was successful in
impacting the priority. This may help you identify activities that are
useful in meeting your objective(s), and those that are not. When considering possible evaluation
indicators discuss with your team:
- What will success look like?
- What outcome(s) are we working toward?
- What will the evaluation schedule look like?
- Are there data collection methods in place to find out how well we are
doing along the way?
- How will we know if we've made a difference?
Sample Evaluation Indicators:
80% of 1st-3rd grade classes have completed the healthy snack
survey by March 30, 2010.
90% of service delivery processes have been identified and mapped
by June 1, 2010.
Lead role - Team member primarily responsible for ensuring the
Resources - Financial, staff, equipment, etc. needed to accomplish an activity.
Timeframe - Expected date of completion for each activity/strategy.
Status of progress - Current description of status of completion.
Action Plan Template
[Word - 44KB]
Implementing the Plan
As your team moves from
creating the plan to
implementing activities, it is important to communicate the plan to staff at
all levels in the organization. Communicating the goal(s) and objective(s),
timeframes, expectations, and roles and responsibilities within the
organization creates clarity among staff, and focuses efforts toward the
common aim of impacting the priority. Launching the plan provides a starting
point for the activities, and offers the opportunity to engage staff in the
process and clarify expectations. Encouraging staff to ask questions,
offer suggestions, and participate in discussion about the plan creates
support for the plan.
Planning For Results
Created by the Office of Performance Improvement to assist CHDs
and Central Office Programs in the development and effective execution of
action plans that will positively impact your priorities (HPI, Fall 2009)
Monitoring the Plan
Because the plan is a "living" document that changes as the environment in
your CHD or CO Program changes, expect to update and revise your plan
regularly. This helps people stay connected with what is
happening with the activities and whether the activity is completed, progressing toward completion, delayed, or no longer viable. Documenting
these status updates allows for more efficient review and monitoring of the
Consider the time span of the plan -- it
may cover several weeks, months, or even years. During this overall
time span, new timeframes and deadlines, new activities, and even new
priorities will impact the plan and adjustments will need to be made.
Document changes to the plan accordingly, communicate the changes, and continue to
monitor progress toward completion.
Once your team has planned, created, implemented, and is monitoring the plan, you are ready to evaluate.
In Step 5,
you will use the evaluation indicators identified in the plan
to determine if and how the plan is impacting the identified priority.
page for links to other resources you may find helpful while
discussing and finalizing the components of your plan.
Have a question? Need help getting started?
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