Whenever we do anything, whether it be booking a holiday or making a full English breakfast – the process has to be planned effectively to achieve effective results.
Let’s take the holiday analogy and expand it slightly. The result you want to gain from booking a holiday is to have a relaxing two weeks away in a hot country. To achieve this you would do effective research – where is the best place to go? Would you stay in Europe or would you go a bit further? You would also have a budget – you wouldn’t book a holiday to Australia if you couldn’t afford it – you would book a holiday that you could afford and was within your means with both the initial cost and the spending money. What dates are you going and will you need time off work?
If you were going with a group of friends, you would communicate with them any progression in booking the holiday. Where will you meet and how will you get to the airport?
Even with the breakfast analogy, the effective result you want to achieve is making a nice, tasty fry up. You do this by effectively planning ahead, what food would you want on the plate? Where can you go to purchase ingredients or get it made for you?
Analogies aside – most things, if not everything, needs planning.
Planning effectively does not guarantee effective results – but it is way more beneficial to plan thoroughly as it will enhance the odds of you achieving what you want to achieve.
When implementing a plan – follow the SMART acronym (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based.) Specify want you want to achieve at the start. How can you measure whether your plan was successful? Make the plan achievable and realistic as well as relevant. Also make sure there are deadlines so the plan does not drag on for longer than it should.
Do the appropriate research before carrying out the plan. Has anybody tried to do what you have before? If so look at the data – look for trends and see where you could possibly encounter issues or problems.
Communicate the plan to the relevant people. Who is going to be involved? Will anybody be affected by the plan and who needs to know about it?
When the plan is finally put into action, constantly monitor the progress and amend the plan as it goes on if necessary. One of the best traits that a manager can possess is the ability to adapt to change and making any appropriate changes.
When trying to achieve effective results, there is no need to take the ‘bull in a china shop’ approach, take a step back, sit down and take some time to plan. Just that little bit of extra time allocated can make a big difference in the future.