This module looks at basic work planning, which can be used to develop a plan to manage your own work, develop a small project plan or develop an operational plan.
Also covered in this module are the basics of strategic planning, to help align what you are doing to the strategic goals and objectives of your organisation.
Strategic planning is the process of setting the long-term strategy for an organisation. It may sound like a complicated concept, but it can all be boiled down to answering three questions.
Strategic planningThe first part of the strategic planning process is to determine the current state through strategic analysis. The current state refers to the current state of the organisation in terms of its strengths and weaknesses, the current state of the markets that it operates in and/or wishes to operate in, as well as the wider business environment.
KRAs, goals, objectives and KPIs
Goals are the specific outcomes that you are trying to achieve within each key result area, within a given time period. Goals are the foundation of your plan and need to be set at the start of the planning process - after all, you need to know your destination in order to a figure out how to get there.
Task planning is essentially breaking down your goals into tasks. It means figuring out every activity that needs to take place in order to achieve your goal, and getting them into a manageable plan that you can use to manage tasks and track progress on a day-to-day basis.
Resource planning & budgeting
Resource planning means figuring out the resources - i.e. people, equipment, materials - that you need to execute your plan.
It is an important step in the planning process, whenever you are developing a plan because it helps to mitigate against the risk of being under-resourced and unable to complete tasks or over-resourced and incurring unnecessary costs.
It's pretty rare that things work exactly to plan with no hiccups or setbacks along the way so it's good to have a plan in case that happens. Contingency planning is about identifying what might go wrong (e.g. equipment failures, supply shortages, cost increases, software malfunctions etc.) and planning for it.
It's basically having a plan B (and maybe a plan C) in case things change - the last thing you want is to have your progress derailed by something that was within your control to manage.