A near-universal approach is to set out the action plan/work programme in a way that clearly links each project to one (or more) of the plan objectives.

However, there are lots of different approaches to the action plan section of management plans.

Some plan formats use codes to describe each type of project; this can be a great help when lots of different sites use the same format, enabling comparisons and reports to be made.

Many formats include resource requirements, both financial and staff time, in the action plan. In some formats, information can be drawn directly from the management plan into financial plans and used for bidding for funding.

The subject of project costings can be approached in several different ways. Projects can be individually costed on the basis of the amount of budget that is usually available. This can be helpful if the budgetary aspects of the plan are linked closely to the organisation’s financial management system – the data in the plan can be slotted straight into the organisational system.

Alternatively, basing the cost of projects on what is actually needed, rather than what is expected (which is usually much less!), can produce data to make a case for more money, and/or copied directly into external funding applications and the like.

Many plan formats will allow for both the anticipated budget requirement and the aspirational budget, for instance by assigning a priority (‘must have’ and ‘would like to have’), by splitting a project into sub-sections, or simply by having two separate projects.

GANTT charts are sometime used to plan projects, especially where one project is dependent on another.
Commonly, the action plan is for five years.

Links to examples of good practice

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