In March this year I completed a (very good) free business growth and development course through Te Wananga O Aotearoa . When I started to thinking how much I had to do and wanting to quantify it somehow, I recalled the project planning segment we did and how much it helped when I needed to identify my key goals and break them down into achieveable segments and tasks.
This simple method of project planning is invaluable for anyone who has a large project/s to tackle and no idea where to start. It’s basically a table or series of tables with the main goal/s for the project at the top. You divide the goal into rows with smaller manageable tasks that need to be completed to achieve the goal. If these tasks require breaking down further you can do that under each task. The tasks (WHAT will be done) form the first one or two columns, then you divide the rest of the table into the following columns: WHO will complete the task, WHEN will it be completed by, what you need to complete the tasks (resources, $$, the HOW) and finally, things that could inhibit the completion of the task (barriers).
I have inserted a simple action plan below from my course as an example – to demonstrate what the plan looks like and how the tasks can be broken down into smaller tasks. The resources and barriers columns are not included. These two columns will be included in my up and coming action plans for the goals identified below that I need to achieve. Resources and barriers are really an essential consideration in any action plan -if you don’t have the resources, you need to factor finding the resources in as a task or move on to another task. Similarly, if there are too many barriers, then the task needs to be modified or deleted. Check out the table below – this can easily be created in excel or in open office writer.
The table is just one of the four projects that I completed for the course that really helped me get on track with my business, a simple but effective way of breaking down a seemingly huge goal into manageable chunks so that achievement then becomes possible. I also find that once the action plan is down on paper, it is out of your head and you can see clearly what you have to do, it is quite liberating!
I am currently working on seven of these action plans with the following goals/objectives:
1. Autumn/Winter 2011 Collection for Southern Hemisphere
2. Spring/Summer 2011 Collection for Northern Hemisphere
3. Mini Spring/Summer 2010/2011 range for Southern Hemisphere
4. Mini Autumn/Winter 2010/2011 range for Northern Hemisphere
5. Marketing my business
6. Selling my products
7. Obtaining finances
These tables will be published in the next few days once I have carefully broken the goals down into tasks that are easily achieveable. As usual I have probably bitten off more than I can chew! But I work better under pressure!
And finally a quote from Bob Proctor’s ‘Insight of the Day’ emails I receive daily:
“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out if they’ve got a second. Give your dreams all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.”
1842-1910, Philosopher and Author