By: Kathy Kent Toney, CEO & Founder of Kent Business Solutions
As a business leader, have you and your team embarked on a carefully constructed business plan only to find it quickly unraveled as you executed it?
To avoid this trap, here are five suggestions on how to ensure your plans lead to successful outcomes:
1. Bring Your Best to the Table
When you develop a plan, include a broad range of opinions, expertise, and experience. In other words, your team's input is essential to plan success. Ensure that your team is included upfront in the planning process so that your plan will result in a well-rounded approach.
2. Develop Contingency Scenarios
Even the best plans can go awry when unaccounted-for situations arise. That's why it's important to brainstorm multiple possibilities upfront to ensure your bases are covered if things don't go as you would have liked.
A good formula to follow is IF THIS, DO THAT. When such an event occurs, consult with the team to decide which contingency plan would work best (when there are multiple options) and, if need be, adapt your choice to your circumstances.
3. Communicate Plan Changes
When you experience changes to your plan, ensure that all your team members and affected stakeholders receive notice of such changes. Doing so will help prevent misunderstandings and potentially wasted effort spent on a previous version of the plan.
4. Create Avenues for Gathering Feedback and Data
Make it easy for team members and stakeholders to give you feedback during plan execution so that you can make adjustments along the way. This will help ensure your path to success. Providing a forum for regular reviews where feedback is encouraged is a great way to do this.
Monitoring progress through data collection as you execute the plan is also essential. Ensure that your data collection techniques are rigorous enough to ensure data integrity.
5. Plan for Regular Progress Reviews
Having everyone on the same page is crucial for plan success. Ensure your team meets on at a pre-determined frequency, considering plan speed, complexity, scope, team availability, and size. The planned frequency and required attendance for particular team members for reviews can change later if the need to do so arises.
Here's some good news: a great way to accomplish all these suggestions is through Scrum, a proven, best-practice approach. It just so happens that it's one of my passions!
What is Scrum?
In short, it's a streamlined way to manage projects.
It allows for regular reviews with stakeholders and synergistic daily meetings (called Daily Scrums) that keep communication lines open amongst all team members. Plan changes can be made on the fly and quickly communicated to team members and stakeholders. Better yet, projects can often finish much faster than traditional approaches.
You don't need to take my word for it! Click on the button below to download a case study about one of my clients.