How to Create an Annual Work Plan

by Grace Ferguson ; Updated September 26, 2017
work plan group

An annual work plan is a detailed activity report outlining what will be achieved during the year in order to achieve specific results. It contains the anticipated outcomes, the activities to be performed toward achieving the anticipated outcomes, the time frame involved, those responsible for performing the activities, and what each activity entails. An annual work plan helps you to monitor how the desired goals are being accomplished. A number of steps are involved in creating an annual work plan.

Decide which individuals will be involved in formulating the plan. Ensure that the work plan group includes people who understand where you are now and what must be achieved. Further, the individual writing the plan should know how to design the work plan and document the key elements.

Schedule work planning meetings ahead of time. Give yourselves enough time during the prior year to properly create the plan for the next year. This includes time to brainstorm new ideas and to analyze ones that are currently in effect. Each activity must be documented in detail. Decide what resources are needed to carry out the tasks, the persons responsible for each activity and ensure you have enough funds in your budget to accomplish the overall goal. Write down the precise date that each activity should be finished and where the activities will occur.

Create a cover page first when actually making the plan. State the following on separate lines: the expected outcomes, the individual responsible for implementing the activity, and any other partners involved. Below, create a text box for narrative or notes you want to make concerning the plan. Double-space and create two more text boxes–one with the name and budget code for the plan, and another with the anticipated budget. Create signature lines for the implementing individual and partners (if applicable).

Make a table for the actual work plan. Include the following headings: expected outcomes, all related activities for the year, and for each activity include the time frame, responsible persons, fund source, and the budget description and budget amount.


  • If you have a current work plan, schedule a new work plan meeting a few months prior to the present one’s expiration. Work with the group to see if the current plan needs modification.

About the Author

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.

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