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How to Develop an Effective Work Plan

How to Develop an Effective Work Plan

Work plans are essential for establishing goals and boosting productivity. In this article, we’ll discuss how to develop an effective work plan for your upcoming project.

16th April 2021
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Every workplace can enjoy the benefits of work plans. These may include the increase of employee engagement, the development of skills and overall a more high performing workplace. But what should be included in an effective work plan? This article will outline the main types of work plans and a step-by-step guide to creating a project planning template for your business.

What is a work plan?

A work plan is a document that sets out the objectives and procedure for a particular project. It can be used as a reference for a person or members of the team to understand the scope of their responsibilities and to keep track of their progression. 

Work plans can be particularly useful in complex projects. Through work plans, you can develop smaller and achievable goals. This method manages positive workplace relationships and allows for clear insights to the project’s development. 

Types of work plans

Employee work plan

Individuals and small groups commonly use these plans to help align their project with the company or organisation’s goals. They often include the project’s objectives, the estimated budget, needed resources and projected timeline. 

Manager work plan

As well as the information provided in an employee work plan, a manager may also include statistical data, a breakdown of the budget and the prospective business benefits. 

Business owner work plan

On top of the information that is provided in employee and manager work plans, a business owner may include market research information and the long-term projections.

Steps to creating a work plan

1. Set goals 

The first step to developing an effective work plan is identifying the purpose and objectives. This should include short and long term goals, particularly how the project will meet the company’s business needs. 

2. Establish responsibilities

Once the goals have been established, the next step is to identify the main tasks and to assign those responsibilities to team members. As previously mentioned, having smaller and achievable goals increases the engagement with the plan and as a result, boosts overall productivity. 

If the project is particularly challenging, a team leader can be assigned in order to respond to any inquiries from the team. This allows for all team members to understand the scope of their responsibilities and to keep track of the project’s progression. 

3. Implement timelines

Timelines are essential in achieving the shared goal. They help establish clear expectations, which is especially important for avoiding additional costs and time. Working under a timeline also avoids procrastination. For example, having a deadline for a specific task holds individuals accountable and encourages the entire team to stay on top of their responsibilities. 

4. Include a budget 

With an understanding of the project’s objectives, it is easier to determine the required resources and the final budget. The budget should include the prospective costs of each task and the different budgets of each individual team. Constantly reviewing the budget will assist in identifying whether an increase or decrease of resources is required. 

5. Develop a risk management response

Risk analysis involves identifying potential issues that may impact the project’s objectives. Developing a response scheme will avoid further delays, minimise costs and will help maintain work efficiency. 


As discussed, a work plan can be instrumental in achieving your business’ objectives. It can be difficult to understand the scope and progression of a project, particularly if the project is complex. Having a breakdown of individual tasks and responsibilities ensures that an individual or members of the team remain focused in achieving the shared goal. Employees are therefore more engaged in their work and as a result increases the overall productivity in the workplace.

Don’t know where to start?
Contact a Lawpath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.

Vanie Cardinio

Vanie is a legal intern at Lawpath and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts and Laws at Macquarie University. Vanie has a keen interest in legal technology particularly in artificial intelligence and its impact on protecting digital rights.