So, What’s Your Plan?

January 25, 2017 by The FlexPro Group

Those who know me well know that with most things in my life, I like to have plan. I love the challenge of creating a game plan and setting goals for myself. In fact, friends often joke with me because I always planned on having two kids – which I did. I thought that I’d have a son and a daughter – which I did. And even though everyone said, “Due dates are just a general idea of when your baby will be born, you won’t deliver on that date.”, I did! June 15th and September 15th.  On the fifteenth of the month exactly 15 months apart.  Now that’s good planning (and a lot of luck, the planets being aligned and coincidence!) I wish I could say that all of my life plans have always worked out that perfectly. Of course they haven’t. I do believe, however, even if it’s just a rough idea, it’s always good to start with plan or at least a target you want to hit.

While welcoming in 2017, we traditionally make New Year’s resolutions with big ideas for our year ahead. Personally, I think resolutions tend to be short lived. The popular losing weight, quitting smoking, eating better, hitting the gym…quickly fall by the wayside. Without a reasonable plan in place, most of these resolutions will not come to fruition and in fact, won’t see the end of January. Because of the high rate of failure and lack of realistic expectations, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  Instead, I work with my strengths and formulate a plan of things I want to accomplish throughout the year. Maybe it’s certain books I want to read or classes I want to take. Whatever it is, I begin putting the plan in motion. As an example, knowing how quickly the calendar fills up, this is the time of year that I make sure I book my vacation time – even if the rest of the gang hasn’t decided where we’re going yet. The “where” can be decided later, but the “when” is something that needs to be decided and formalized, especially when coordinating the schedules of multiple friends and family members. With the business, twice a year Rose and I take time away from the day-to-day responsibilities to do our strategic planning.  It’s an opportunity to regroup and reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. We consider it one of the most important things we do to continue to move our company forward, however, with our busy schedules it would NEVER happen if we didn’t plan it well in advance.

Those of you who know project management (especially those who have their PMP certification) know that the 5 PM Process Groups are:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing

While they are all important, most good PMs know that PLANNING is absolutely key. This second phase of the project management life cycle is the time to set the foundation by creating the plan to manage time, costs, staffing, external suppliers, risk and other issues. This can often be the most challenging phase and it is here that all work that needs to be done to meet the project’s objectives is outlined. The planning process ties together all of the pieces of this part of the cycle into a cohesive component that is communicated to all members of the project team. It is the veritable roadmap of the project. Can you even imagine trying to run a project without the planning step?

As we move forward into 2017, have you thought about what your plans are? What will it take to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself and for your team this year? Do you have the right people in place and the resources you need to accomplish those goals? It’s a new year and it’s the right time to work on your game plan, because, as Ben Franklin once said ” If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” 

-Lynn Faughey, FlexPro COO

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