Are you one of those people who prefers to keep your plans in your head? Or maybe you prefer to “just do it” and not worry about planning at all?
Research by David Ingvar indicates that there is a significant and positive effect from writing down your plans. What is interesting is that your plans do not have to include detail to the ‘nth’ degree to be effective.
A simple, yet effective process for creating effective plans for anything is outlined below. The process can work for achieving a certain grade for an assignment at university, for drafting a high level plan for a complex business project (that would then be used to create a more detailed plan using tools such as Microsoft Project) or a training session for the local U12s basketball team that you coach. Heck, I use this process all the time for planning my workshops and seminars!
In addition, this process can be used for creating a plan for an individual or a team.
Describe using dot points, what a successful outcome looks like. Provide as much detail as possible to enable you to clearly see the success that you desire.
Identify your current experience and skills as they relate to achieving your goals. Be honest. Include both your good and not-so-good experiences.
Step Three Part A
Brainstorm everything that you will need to do to take you from your description in Step Two through to achieving the outcomes you have described in Step One. Include any research or training & development that you may need to acquire along the journey.
Step Three Part B
Having brainstormed your possible tasks, consider their relationship to each other and their level of importance. What tasks stand out as critical steps for success? These need to be treated as priorities (keeping in mind, of course, that even the ‘little things’ matter for true success).
Step Three Part C
If more than one person will be involved in actioning this plan, assign appropriate tasks to everyone on your team.
Plans for individuals and teams can be completed in under ten minutes and under 30 minutes respectively following this three-step process.
The challenge for most people isn’t following the process, it’s deciding to do it in the first place!
Give it a go, you will be pleasantly surprised at how simple and effective it is!
Please feel free to share your experiences of following this process.