Action Planning Worksheet

View down a road with snow falling and cars covered in snow
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About this tool

Creating a doable plan is the key to turning an idea into reality. A simple community action planning worksheet helps decision-makers and community members alike focus on one idea and brainstorm a plan for implementation. This action plan can be conducted during a formal workshop with city staff or with a bunch of neighbours sitting around the kitchen table eager to take on a new community project.


STEP 1: Divide into small groups.

Create groups of three to five people. Provide each group with the items from the materials list.


STEP 2: Brainstorm individually.

Provide each group member with a few sticky notes. For five minutes, have each member of the group to write down ideas they have for improving the space. Use one sticky note per idea.


STEP 3: Select the winning idea.

Within each group, ask individual participants to share what they wrote down on their sticky notes. As they are describing the idea, have them post the corresponding sticky note on the wall or table for the rest of the group members to see.

Once everyone has shared their thoughts, review all the ideas that were generated. As a group, discuss and agree on one idea to pursue further.


STEP 4: The 5 W’s and 1 H.

Using the top half of the Action Planning Worksheet, answer the following six questions for the group’s winning idea.

1. What is your idea?

2, Why is your idea important?

3. Who needs to be involved in the project? What partnerships need to be established for it to be successful?

4. Where will the idea take place?

5. What is the budget required?

6. How will you measure success?


STEP 5: Next steps.

Without writing anything down, take a few minutes to discuss as a group what needs to be done to implement your idea. After you have discussed your plan, try to break it down into manageable steps.

Use the bottom half of the Action Planning Worksheet to write down what steps need to be taken. For each step, identify who is responsible for that action item and when it would occur during the project timeline (by marking an “X” in the appropriate square). You can use numbers 1-12 on the top right section of the chart to indicate a project timeline. The numbers could represent weeks (Week 1, Week 2, etc.) or months (Month 1, Month 2, etc.) in the project planning process.


STEP 6: Gather round.

Once each group has completed the Action Plan Worksheet for their winning idea, have one representative from each group summarize their idea and action plan for the wider group. Ask the larger group to provide feedback on the group’s idea and project plan.


STEP 7: Document.

Take photos of all the action plans and sticky note ideas to use as reference for future planning for the site.