Planning for Success: Time for Strategic Thinking

The online journal bringing to life the real experiences of a Project Professional.


One important aspect of management is planning no matter what context we think about management in.

My monthly drumbeat dictates a regular pattern split between delivery focus at the front end of the month followed by general team focus and activity completion during the back end off the month. Although the intensity and variety of activities vary month on month.

In the business I'm in we work around the Financial year, which in the UK, is April to March. Therefore January is the time to start to put together your plans, your strategy, for the next April, asking such questions as:

  • Who are we as a group?

  • What are our objectives?

  • What do we want to achieve in the next 12m?

  • Is the team organisation still appropriate?

  • Are the skills and knowledge mix in the team the best blend for success?

  • What is the funding strategy?

  • What are the customer's expectations (internal and external)?


This brings so many questions but the answers are not always as clear.


Clarity is itself an enabler for success.

 

People just want to know where they stand, feel that they are part of something.

 

In my experience, if people have clarity they will feel more secure and more likely to achieve their potential. This is the basis of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, a model based on core principles of human psychology therefore just as relevant today as it was when first devised 100 years ago. This is amazing when we think about it, technology has advanced way beyond anything which could have been imagined 100 years ago but our basic psychology has stayed the same.

This is why it is so important that we write down our strategy and plans, make them explicit and provide clarity for all.

 

So take time to reflect on the present and plan for the future, the next 12 months horizon is always a good starting point. Write it down and make it available to the team. If necessary talk them through it and the thoughts or reasons behind it.


It's the least we must do as leaders!


Play the video for a narrated version of this blog.




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