Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Planning, in simple terms, is a process of laying out a series of steps to achieve the goal, considering budgets, timelines, and other affecting factors. Be it individual or a team, planning has been an integral part of our execution, for ages. It is a significant contributor to the strategic management of companies, governments, or anywhere multiple tasks and teams are involved.
Different personalities take planning differently. While there are people who are too much structured in the planning process, others do not plan at all and decide everything on the go. Both these extremes may hamper your workflow, especially when working in teams.
While there are many articles on how to plan effectively, this article addresses a few points that help you plan optimally and execute your work effectively.
a) Select the right set of people: Too many minds kill the whole purpose. So, make sure you have the people who can provide all perspectives and have the experience to plan effectively. To create future leaders, you can involve a few other people who can listen to conversations and points here and there. This helps them gain enough experience for future endeavors.
b) Optimize the checkpoints: Make sure there are not too many checkpoints in the planning. While sufficient checkpoints are required to keep track of our progress, too many of them suffocate others and leads to micro-managements
c) Give room for creativity: Creativity is one of the most important expectations in any work. As it requires more effort and team, allocate some time which can be adjusted during the course of the project. This helps in motivating the employees to exhibit their creative skills without hassles
d) Assess the resources: Many times, we plan all our work for optimizing the time and the no. of employees. Often, we neglect other resources including the hardware, software, materials, machinery, and other logistics. Make sure your planning includes these things too.
e) Crisis management: Whatever you do and how best you work, you are bound to face unforeseen conditions and face problems during the course of projects. It could be delays in procurement, logistics, or efficiency losses, these things take a substantial amount of time to cover up. A plan that does not include time and resources to cover these up will not be effective.
These are some useful strategies that differentiate effective planning from others. Above all, make sure you understand your company and the resources well. Based on its dynamics and sentiments, planning should be done for effectiveness. Otherwise, it is just exercise.