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A Work Plan (or Plan of Action) is the unique way an applicant proposes to solve a problem or address an unmet need. It forms the core of a proposal and is its rationale for funding. A Work Plan answers who, what, how, where, when, how often, why, and so what.

At a minimum, a Work Plan embraces goals, objectives, activities, strategies, and timelines. By implication, it also embraces personnel, management, resources, evaluation, marketing, and budget. Its proposed approaches often build upon and extend scientifically based and/or statistical research on effective practices.

In ordinary practice, an applicant’s general desire for more external funding may precede its decision to seek a grant from a specific source. In addition, an incomplete or ineffective plan of action may precede its efforts to document needs and to adopt more effective strategies.

Devising a Work Plan:

In planning to describe a Work Plan in a proposal, several questions prove useful:

Goals: How many goals and objectives will you propose? How will you derive them? How will you formulate them as time-delimited statements?

Activities: What activities will be appropriate to your goals and objectives? In what logical sequence must the activities occur? At what points will you monitor your progress?

Personnel: Who will do the work? What qualifications will you require? What duties and responsibilities will the positions perform? How much time and effort will they contribute?

Management: Who will administer and supervise the project or initiative? Who will be the funder’s primary contact? Where will program management fit in your organizational plan? Will you form an advisory group? Where will any partners or partnerships fit?

Evaluation: How will you measure whether you have reached your goals? What valid and reliable instruments will you use to monitor and measure progress and outcomes?

Marketing: What role will marketing and dissemination play in the success of your project or initiative? Who will perform these tasks? How will you know you have reached your target audiences?

Logic Models: Have you aligned and interrelated your goals, objectives, activities, timeline, personnel, evaluation, and budget in a single, comprehensive logic model?

This post is one in a series about questions useful in planning competitive grant proposals. Later posts will discuss goals, objectives, activities, strategies, and timelines – among other topics.

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