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Formulating Short-Term Objectives and Creating Action Plans 101 8.2 Creating an Action Plan to Implement Short-Term Objectives The detail and level of specificity contained in an action plan depend on several factors, includ- ing the complexity of the short-term objective to which the action plan applies, and the number of staff who will participate in implementing the action plan. An action plan typically specifies the following: · The short-term objectives to which the action plan applies. · The actions or decisions necessary to achieve the short-term objective. · The deadline for completing each action necessary to achieve the short-term objective. Some- times only the deadline for completing the action is noted, but often the deadlines for com- pleting interim steps toward accomplishing each action are noted as well. Of the respondents to the online survey, 75 percent indicated that they set specific deadlines for completing each action necessary to achieve a short-term objective. · The party responsible for ensuring the accomplishment of each action. This responsible party should be defined in terms of a particular position in the organization rather than a particu- lar person, as people may change positions or roles or leave the organization. · The resources required to accomplish each action. Resources are typically specified in terms of people, time, materials, equipment, facilities, and budget. When developing the action plan, the planning team should involve the people responsible for ensuring the accomplishment of each action in determining the resources required to accomplish the action. According to the online survey data, only about half of the respondents currently involve department leaders or their staff in assessing the resources required to accomplish each action. · The budget allocated for accomplishing each action. Online survey data indicate that this important consideration may be overlooked at many airports during the strategic planning process. Of the respondents to the online survey, 80 percent indicated that they did not assign a specific budget for implementing each of the short-term objectives included in the organi- zation's strategic plan. · The frequency of reporting the status of the actions to be accomplished. A brief example of an action plan is included in Step 3 of Worksheet 8.01, "Formulating Short- Term Objectives and Creating Action Plans." Once all action plans that are to be contained in the strategic plan have been drafted, the plan- ning team should carefully examine them to be sure that the information related to each short- term objective is complete and that the action plans are efficiently organized and integrated for use by the entire organization. Considering all of the action plans collectively, the planning team should ask the following questions: · Is there any duplication of actions among the different action plans? · Can any of the actions be combined for any particular action plan? · Do any of the actions conflict with one another (i.e., would accomplishment of one action make it difficult or impossible to accomplish another action)? · Should any of the actions be divided into one or more other actions? · Are some or all of the actions interconnected in some way?94 Once the action plans are integrated, the planning team should ensure that they are realistic, which can be tested by answering the following questions: · Are there enough people in the organization to accomplish the actions envisioned in all of the action plans? 94 Carter McNamara, Field Guide to Nonprofit Strategic Planning and Facilitation, 3rd ed. (Minneapolis: Authenticity Consult- ing LLC, December 2007): 103.
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102 Strategic Planning in the Airport Industry · Is there enough money to support the budgets specified across all of the action plans? · Are there sufficient materials, equipment, and facilities to support implementation of the var- ious action plans? · Have any other issues become apparent during the review of the integrated action plans?95 The actions specified in the action plans should also be consistent with, and be integrated into, each of the organization's operating units' (e.g., department, division, and so forth) annual busi- ness plans. Members of the planning team should jointly complete Step 3 of Worksheet 8.01, "Formulat- ing Short-Term Objectives and Creating Action Plans," to create an action plan for each short- term objective that will be included in the strategic plan. In completing Step 3 of the worksheet, the planning team will do the following: · Describe the short-term objective to which the action plan applies and · Formulate the action plan by filling out a chart that contains the contents of the action plan. Formulate an action plan by completing Step 3 of Worksheet 8.01, "Formulating Short-Term Objectives and Creating Action Plans." 95 Ibid.