Planning for Success
Before you are going to do something,
there is nothing as
sensible as a plan. A plan as we know it
is something thought
about and drafted out in advance before
the real action takes place.
The word Ďplaní does not need
much of a
definition. So, we all know what it
means, but how many of us
really resort to planning before we
start a course of action.
No, Iím not referring to a mental
picture that we cart out in
our minds that is in one word VAGUE. I
mean a real plan in black
and white, that is, put down on a piece
Please do not
underestimate the importance of a
written down plan. Once we
write down something it clears up a lot
of hazy areas and opens
aspects that we probably overlooked.
And the most important of all is that
with a plan and only
with a plan can we get a rough estimate
at least of how much time
the course of action would take. Plans
should always be time
bound and there we get the relation
between time management and
planning. In fact planning is as
fundamental to time management
as organizing and prioritizing.
The 8 advantages of planning:
- Planning helps us to have a better idea about the course of action.
- Planning better defines the
course of action.
- Planning gives a rough estimate of the time required for a project.
- Planning gives us a fairly good idea about the expenses involved in the project. In fact a budget is only a financial plan.
- Planning helps us to get prepared for emergencies that may arise during the course of the project.
- A well though about plan gives us a clear idea about want is to be
done every day, every week and every month.
- Planning helps avoid duplication of labor.
- If a plan is followed every one will have a clear idea about his or her role.
A point that I would like to add while
we are talking about planning is that we should have both
short term plans as well as long term strategy plans. At the same time we
should also try to draft out contingency plans to deal with a
crisis if it arises. I thought it would be useful for you to
have a brief overview of the different steps involved
The six steps in planning are:
- Set objectives
- Assess you present situation
- Survey your alternatives
- Decide on the course of action
- Provide for control
- Implement the plan
Whatever the plan is, I again want to
stress the point that a plan should always be TIME
BOUND. As the project moves along, the plan
should be flexible in the sense that it should incorporate
any changes that might prove necessary ounce the project is put into
Planning the work in your office
Even though there is
routine work that doesnít require any
formal planning. The belief that it will go on by itself is wrong. Even
tasks that can be done on an everyday basis can be improved if there
is some advanced planning involved. Everywhere there is scope for
improvement, better methods that are yet to be implemented and
problems that have to be solved. And
for all this you need proper
The following steps will help you to
make a planning sheet for work:
- Take a fairly big sheet of paper and
divide it into the number of working days in your
- The column for each day should
further be divided in to the morning and afternoon sessions.
- Divide the jobs to be done and assign
each part to a concerned person.
- Decide on which part of the task is
to be done on each day and at which part of the day.
- Put a cross mark followed by the
concerned personís initials on that section of the day on which you
propose to do the decided part of the job.
- At the end of the day, if the job is
done cross it off.
- If the job is not done, carry
it over to the next day.
In this way, at the end of the week, you
can find out how much of the work was done each day and
subsequent plans can be made for the following weeks.
You can plan for a week or a
month or whatever time amount is
required, depending on
While you are drafting your plan and
estimating your expenses, you must never forget the fact
that time means money. But your plan should be realistic as
well. In order to finish the task at the earliest possible date, there is
no sense in drafting out a schedule which would mean that you will
have to break your back in order to
meet the deadline.