You wouldn’t throw a party without knowing what foods you will serve, who you will invite, and what location it will be held, would you? Of course not! Thinking through details like that, is a basic part of planning. A plan is one of the most important communication tools you can use to decrease uncertainty, reduce risk, increase understanding across all stakeholders, and ultimately increase the chance of successful achievement!
While having a plan is something you must do if you hope to achieve anything at all, not just anything will work. A solid plan should contain specificity. While not all-inclusive, the following six key questions should be answered as part of any plan – in writing, and made available to anyone that has a stake in successful achievement:
- Why are you doing what you’re doing?
- What is the tangible deliverable; the “thing” you are you ultimately delivering?
- Who is responsible for delivering “it”? If there are multiple people, then declare which specific parts they are responsible for, and how all of these parts integrate together to make “the whole” deliverable
- When will “it” be delivered (and for multiple owners, they should each have delivery dates, and integration dates that include when the individual parts become connected to the “whole”)
- Where will the work take place?
- How are you going to deliver “it”? What methods, tools, techniques, processes, governance/decision points, meeting frequency, etc. will be used?