What Are Action Steps?
In the same way that objectives are the steps toward achieving a goal, action steps are the next level of detail, the steps your organization will take to achieve the objective. For each objective you've listed, ask yourself how you will achieve that objective. For instance, following is the list of hypothetical objectives from Chapter 12.
At least thirty more students will be referred for counseling services because of indicators for violence than were last year.
At least fifty students will be trained to perform peer mediation. At least 400 students will participate in peer-mediation services in year one.
Random locker checks will be performed four times during the school year.
The school will rewrite its policies and procedures for dealing with violence on school grounds. New guidelines will be distributed to all students, signed, and returned to homeroom teachers. New guidelines will be mailed to 40,000 households in the school district that receive the district newsletter.
The next step is to develop a plan to describe how you will achieve the objectives. Think about what it will take to do that. What will it take for a school to perform four random locker checks during the school year? At minimum, they will have to do the following: (a) identify a means for random selection of lockers; (b) plan a schedule to ensure that they perform the inspections four times within the nine-month school year; (c) identify what inspectors should look for during the inspections; (d) communicate the plan and goal to inspectors; and (e) develop a plan for reporting findings.
To fulfill the spirit of the objective, they also must have a plan ready for what they will do if they find drugs, guns, knives, or other contraband in the lockers. This step, however, would be better if made a part of the fourth objective to rewrite the school's policies and procedures for dealing with violence on school grounds.