Action Plan - Quarterly Initiatives & Steps

Quarterly Initiatives help keep the bigger picture in focus and not let the day to day firefighting take over.  So many organization stop before getting to this point.  They feel that they have gained enough clarity to move forward.  But that is usually not the case.  By taking the time to define Quarterly Initiatives and the steps to accomplish them, every owner of an initiative knows exactly what they need to do to push the 1 Year Goals forward and whether they are on-track or off-track to accomplishing their owned initiatives. 

Quarterly Initiatives

  • Determine the most important priorities for the coming quarter.  These are the things that will keep you on track and help you meet your 1 Year Goals.
  • Create 1 - 2 Quarterly Initiatives to correspond with each 1 Year Goal.
  • Identify one owner for each Quarterly Initiative.  The owner is not necessarily responsible to do all of the work, but is ultimately responsible for pushing the initiative to completion.
  • Once these Quarterly Initiatives are established for the quarter none others can be set.
  • Quarterly Initiatives should be reset every quarter and make sure to use the actually calendar year quarters (March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31).


  • You should have 5-7 clear Steps for each Quarterly Initiative. Make sure they are clearly delineated steps.
  • Identify an Owner and Due Date for each one.
  • The cumulative result of the Steps should be the fulfillment of the Quarterly Initiative.
  • Make sure to allow, if necessary, for an organic approach.  Sometimes all of the steps can’t be worked out at the start until other input or research has been done.

The Process

  1. List all of the Quarterly Initiatives that you own.
  2. Take the first Quarterly Initiative and brainstorm.  Think of the deliverable or end result from the Initiative and generate all possible Steps.  Do not make Steps too broad, they should be able to be completed anywhere from 1 week to 1 month.
  3. Arrange the Steps in the order that they need to be completed. Some may be able to be done at the same time.  
  4. After listing and arranging each Step for the Quarterly Initiative, assign an Owner to each one and a Due Date.