Successful Planning For The Terrified
Planning is a central role for any manager and you will be regularly challenged with the need to plan and deliver activity, often at short notice and when decisions need to be made quickly and with considerable care.
Successful managers rise to this challenge and can deliver outcomes in a professional manner: this is no happy accident and requires the application of skills and a framework to help deliver the results needed.
A simple Planning System is outlined below:
- Situation: where are we now? What do we know about the issue(s) facing us and what are its challenges? What can we assume from what might well be very limited knowledge?
- Objectives: where do we want to be? How will we know when we have got to that point? What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are we looking at here? Do we sell the issue to interested parties, do we just seek out the targets and deliver them, go for a “wow” factor and aim to sizzle by doing something truly unusual and memorable, do we merely go to speak to interested parties and deliver just what they tell us to do or do we aim for efficiency gains and hope for the best? In short, what are we going to do?
- Strategy: how do we get to where we need to be? Is this about targeting and positioning our work, should we work collaboratively with other Departments of even other Organisations, how will we get our new message out there?
- Tactics: how exactly do we get there? What tools and techniques should we use to get the job done? Content needs to be finalised and contacts made where necessary to make the process work effectively.
- Actions: who does what, where and when? Establish very clear responsibilities and reporting structures so that everyone knows what is going on. Checklists and Guidelines need to be written and published making sure that we aim for Execution Excellence – getting it right from the start and continuing to do so.
- Control: how do we know we will get there? Who monitors what, when and how? Using basic reporting or systematic Analytics to see if the planned actions are actually delivering what is needed.
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