John Lennon once said: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” This quote gives us a hint of how demanding, serious, and time consuming assignment planning actually is. Every planning activity is a process. Once you start, be aware that your plan will depend on different factors, such as the human elements around it, resources dedicated to the process itself, as well as the complexity of the final product. In case you have upcoming projects that will require a killer plan, please read the following few tips:
At the very beginning of the process, make sure you know where you are and where you’re going. Have in mind where you want to be and be realistic about it. Don’t stop until it’s complete. Your plan must communicate its content easily and practically so being specific is of high importance. At this early stage you have to have some achievable goals you are striving towards. They will serve as a guiding point once the project takes off.
Make sure you engage your team and keep them in the loop. Brainstorm everything, from the issues you might face in planning and execution, to the possible techniques and tools you might use for their solving. Mind maps and freewriting are just some of the techniques for effective brainstorming. Besides using the team as a raw processing power of the brain, you also need to constantly inform them on all the project-related developments.
Group and agree deadlines. Once you have the idea of all the necessary activities, you need to sort them out so that they are understandable to all the people on the project. Group the tasks by the topic they belong to and forward it to the group that will be handling them, such as communication, marketing, event management, etc. Agree on deadlines for each and every one of them. This will help you monitor the progress of your project.
Postpone, but never give up. The planning process doesn’t stop once the project execution starts. Unforeseen events can knock you out from your trajectory and in the events like this a thoughtful replanning might be necessary. The event calendar is likely to get the most messed up here. It is okay to move certain tasks through the calendar, but it is absolutely inexcusable to fully ignore or remove them.
Cover image: Brandon Schauer