What is a One Page Action Plan?

A one page action plan is a clear and effective document which comprises a short overview of specific goals, objectives, and actions that should be executed by a professional who owns and manages a business or company. This plan is a useful management tool and condensed version of a business strategic plan with the purpose of guiding the key individuals who are involved in a business or organization to  facilitate strategic and systematic planning when reaching further development and success. Plus, it is necessary to be included in one’s overall business and development plan.

According to a statistical study, 67% of leaders believe their organization is good at crafting strategy but only 47% believe their organization is good at implementing strategy. Thus, all kinds of working professionals like supervisors, teachers, medical professionals, researchers, business managers, and business owners should effectively create a compelling and well-detailed one page action plan.

Different Types of Action Plans

Also known as a business pitch, a one page action plan should cover the most essential details concerning the multi-faceted elements of your business or company. Make sure that you outline your action plan in sections. Additionally, you should be well-informed about the different types of action plans that you will use for your business matters. Here we will explain to you about the different types of action plans below:

1. Tactical Plans

Do you want to set short term goals and action plans so that you are able to attain long term goals established by the company’s strategic planning? We recommend that you utilize tactical plans because these plans appear to be shorter compared to the strategic plans. Also, it is usually implemented by independent business departments or company functions. Commonly flexible in nature based on the company’s strategy, tactical plans are changeable from time to time that’s why they are safe to use for the company if they go wrong. Thus, remember that the major characteristic of tactical plans is flexibility. When there exist some necessities or emergencies due to a sudden turn of events in the society like the COVID-19 pandemic, tactical plans are made to be adaptable enough to bear and endure these unexpected changes.

2. Single-Use Plans

Designed to execute a course of action for one time only, single-use plans are important action plans for short projects and programmes. So, a single-use plan for short projects contains a limited scope and is less complicated than a programme. For instance, a businessman who owns a beauty and cosmetics company wants to develop a new product within an existing product line or a general music producer of a music entertainment label has a goal to create a new musical group under an existing musical group, simply a subunit within a unit. On the other hand, a single-use plan for programmes is crucial for a wide-ranging activities such as introducing a new product line or modifying the mission of an organization.

3. Standing Plans

These action plans are the opposite of single-use plans as they are used for various activities that recur regularly over a long period of time. Some examples of standing plans are policies, standard operating procedures, and rules and regulations. Policies are designed in describing how exceptions are to be managed, while standard operating procedure or SOP is a more specific version of the policy because it provides an outline of the essential steps to be followed in certain situations. And the rules and regulations have some similarities with SOPs but these plans focused on a single activity.

Benefits of a One Page Action  Plan

Managing simple one page action plans can greatly motivate different types of professionals to attain strong determination while working their earnest effort towards fulfilling the definite goals and strategic objectives placed within the action plan. Moreover, they can continue to go forward on the next step in their action plan. To fully strengthen your motivation and diligence in developing and using one page action plans, know more about the benefits of a one page action plan:

1. Encourages Critical Thinking, Logical Analysis, and Reflection

Stella Cottrell wrote in Critical Thinking Skills: Effective Analysis, Argument and Reflection that critical thinking is a complex process of deliberation involving a wide range of skills and attitudes as it provides you the tools to use skepticism and doubt constructively. This will allow you to analyze what is before you and to formulate better and more informed decisions about whether something is likely to be true, effective or productive. Most of the action plans guide individuals in identifying and evaluating the evidence for alternative points, weighing up opposing sides, being capable in reading between the lines, observing behind the surfaces, reflecting on certain matters in a systematic manner, drawing conclusions and synthesizing information. So, when you prepare a one page action plan, it encourages you to use your critical thinking, logical analysis, and reflection.

2. Brings Clarity and Focus in Attaining Definite Goals and Objectives

Diane Von Furstenberg said: “I can compare clarity to pruning in gardening.  If you are not clear, nothing is going to happen. You have to be clear. Then you have to be confident about your vision. And after that, you just have to put a lot of work in.” Through a comprehensive one page action plan, it brings you a sense of clarity and focus when it comes to attaining the definite goals and objectives you are determined to achieve. Thus, a one page action plan offers you the clarity you need in order to use your time and energy in your main priorities. It also guides you to do tasks step-by-step so that you can focus on fulfilling your goals.

3. Sets Ownership and Accountability

If you are currently writing a one page action plan as a team or group, You and  your teammates or collaborators are the key individuals who contribute practical recommendations and plausible opinions which are crucial aspects all of you have some influence over. The process of involvement builds a sense of individual and collective ownership for the one page action plan. It also creates accountability as the ownership permits certain tasks and activities to be designated to various individuals. So, these people who got the designated tasks and activities know that they have responsibility in finishing the tasks and activities and that they should develop some progress reports based on their project or work agreement.

4. Determines Measures of Success

Some methods to measure true success are profitability, number of customers, customer satisfaction level, employee satisfaction, owner satisfaction, and learning and knowledge level. Similar to stepping stones towards a larger objective, a one pace action plan provides a way in determining measures of success of progress towards that specific goal. Constructing a one page action plan is important because it has definite steps and methods that can be measured to make sure that the action plan reaches its aim and contributes to the larger objective of a specific issue or matter.

Basic Components of a One Page Action  Plan 

In this section, you will learn how to construct a well-written and systematic one page action plan. However, a one page action plan has different kinds of components. Include the following elements for you to create a professional piece of writing:

Overview: This part is the initial section of your one page action plan. It demonstrates a simple and cohesive overview about the activities and tasks that must be accomplished in a specific period of time. Being the compelling part of the one page action plan, it describes the main purpose of the overall action plan. Another element to include in this section is a short explanation of methods and strategies that will be executed through the process of completing the entire action plan.Definite Goals and Strategic Objectives: What do you want to attain in the implementation of your one page action plan? This is an essential part of the action plan as it provides crucial information of your definite goals and strategic objectives in your work. Desired Outcomes: pecify the desired outcomes you want to realize in your action plan as these are the most integral elements of the document. When writing your desired outcomes, you should ensure that they are sensible based on the present skill level and rate of progress of the people involved in the action plan. Budget, Resources, Strategies and Methods: This section contains some details about the resources, strategies and methods that will be used in carrying out the action plan. Describe the resources, materials, and methods in a brief manner. Be specific and clear as possible. Time Frame: Display the time frame or duration of the implementation of the action plan. Include the number of hours, time, day, and date that will be required in order to complete the tasks and activities. Progress Monitoring and Evaluation: Monitor and evaluate the progress of the action plan. For instance, what record keeping and assessment process will be utilized? Progress assessments and anecdotal records are some examples of record keeping. List down the flowof procedures involved in the action plan.

How to Write a One Page Action Plan

When you prepare a one page action plan, it should be organized and well-structured along the strategic goals and objectives, desired outcomes, and outcomes which will be accomplished. Also, you should include a sufficient budget, a financing plan, and M&E reporting or monitoring and evaluation, Below are some easy-to-follow tips that indicate how to write a clear and structured one page action plan:

Step 1: Specify Definite Goals and Strategic Objectives

What are your specific goals and objectives? Contemplate the things you like to achieve in your work or projects. Also, understand and manage potential changes and adopt an optimistic attitude so that you are able to enhance the chances of successful execution of the strategy. Clearly identify the areas to be improved and make sure that you specify a realistic set of desired goals and strategic objectives.

Step 2: List Down the Essential Methods and Procedures

The second step is listing down the essential steps or the methods and procedures for your one page action plan. The elements should maintain clarity and must be easy to follow. Assure that you include the essential methods in carrying out the action plan and outline them in a structured manner. In this way, you are able to achieve your overall action plan.

Step 3: Include the Budget, Resources and Materials

After specifying your goals and objectives and indicating the methods and procedures, include the budget, resources and materials that will be used in carrying out the one page action plan. Enter your budget, resources, and materials that you need to use.

Step 4: Develop a Careful Monitoring and Evaluation  

Prepare a careful evaluation during the action planning process. So, look carefully on what is working and what is not working. Set an effective process for review and determining successes, challenges and growth opportunities.

Step 5: Proofread and Prepare the Overall Plan

Review your entire one page action plan and guarantee that you fully present all the essential points in your one page action plan. It should display the connection between the goals, objectives, resources, strategies and methods, activities used for reaching the objectives, and the evaluation of the people involved in the action plan. If you realize that you overlook some sections that need additional elements, it is significant to edit and revise the document as soon as possible. 


What are the benefits of a one page action plan?

Encouraging critical thinking, logical analysis, and reflection, bringing clarity and focus in attaining definite goals and objectives, setting ownership and accountability, and  determining measures of success are the benefits of a one page action plan.

What are the basic components of a one page action plan?

The basic components that should be included in a monthly action plan are overview, realistic goals and strategic objectives, desired outcomes, resources, strategies and methods, time frame, and monthly progress monitoring and evaluation.

What are some examples of one page action plans?

Some examples of monthly action plans are farm credit one-page action plan, one page business action plan, one page profile template action plan, quick one-page action plan, simple one page action plan, standard one page action plan, one page quarterly action plan template, one page emergency action plan, and many other action plans.

What are some methods to execute an action plan?

Some methods to execute an action plan are incorporating up-to-date plans and procedures, coordinating plan goals with other community objectives, using risk assessment to inform plans and policies, executing mitigation actions through existing mechanisms, and many more.

How to manage and keep track of an action plan?

If you need to manage and keep track of an action plan, you must define the program goals and objectives, regulate indicators, data collection methods, and timeline, and search for the appropriate roles and responsibilities of key individuals.

Julie Connor said: “Passion fuels dreams. Commitment fuels action. Get clear about what you want to do and why you want to do it. Take action. Your time is now.” Therefore, writing a clear and systematic one page action plan will guide you and many other professionals in facilitating better development and growth while realizing the vision and success. We learned in this article that a one page action plan encourages critical thinking, logical analysis, and reflection, brings clarity and focus in attaining definite goals and objectives, sets ownership and accountability, and  determines measures of success. To assist you in action planning, you can learn and apply the tips aforementioned in this article. Plus, we have included several one page action plan samples that you can download.