If you’re running a business, a department or even just a single team in a wider organisation, you need to be able to plan ahead. You need to know your priorities for the day, but also for the week, the month and for years ahead. This is the sort of attitude that gets results and perhaps more importantly, gets noticed: if you’re looking for a raise or promotion, displaying an ability to plan and get those plans carried out is one of the most important things you can do.
Today we’re presenting a short guide to planning ahead, to make sure you’re able to provide the results you promise.
Don’t just sit in meetings and wait to be told what your targets are. Listen actively: ask questions and learn what the priorities of the company is, so you can be proactive and set yourself a gameplan for more than the immediate future.
If you want to confirm what you should be focussing on, take the time for meeting, or even just a sort informal chat with your manager or CEO. They may be able to let you know if the business is in a growth phase and looking for lots of new business, or trying to make savings and reform processes to make them more efficient.
This means you’ll know the best targets to set for your team to get the results the business needs.
Deadline and Updates
Don’t just set a single, final deadline for a task, if it’s a big, important one. If you’ve given someone under you an important project, as part of it, set regularly catch up times to find out how it’s going and if they need more support. You don’t have a perfect knowledge of your team’s capacity and if you don’t keep a close eye on them you might that someone you’ve set to organise the Christmas party has been so swamped they haven’t had the chance do more than speculatively Google “xmas party venues London”. If you have regular catch ups you’ll know that this person has been swamped by other work and you’ll need to either draft someone to help relieved the pressure or reassign the task.
You need to know clearly what the highest priority is so that if your team runs into problems and can’t hit all the targets you’ve set for them, you know which ones can be delayed and which need to be exhaustively monotasked to hit the deadline.