Planning is tricky work. I learned much about the process as a young athletic coach. As the years passed and my job assignments changed, I learned more and more about effective planning practices.
Here are some of my big takeaways regarding Effective Planning:
- Direction - Knowing where we want to go and what we want to accomplish comes first. Clarity in the direction is absolutely necessary.
- LookBack - Reflecting on what we did to get us where we currently are is a non-negotiable. We gotta know how we got here.
- LookForward - Conversations about concrete actions and steps that can be taken incrementally to move us to our desired outcomes must take place.
- Actionability - Writing down, codifying, those actions/steps is necessary. Assigning responsibility to team members for taking those steps must occur. ALL team members should have a responsible role; nobody gets to sit on the bench for the whole game.
- Monitoring - Collective (not unilateral) monitoring of those actions and steps must occur on a regularly scheduled basis. Just because it's written means nothing; reviewing and monitoring as a team is required.
- ContinuousImprovement - All plans have weak spots. Conditions change, people change, the WORLD changes. Making constant adjustments toward betterment is the surest sign of life and vitality. Plans that are intractable go in the casket with us.......and our organization.