“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.” – Thomas Alva Edison.

Planning Overview

You only need to look around to see the results of planning. From the Egyptian Pyramids to a new airport, bridge or skyscraper, planning is at the heart of the effort. Developing plans is also critical in launching a new product or even a vacation.

All companies and organizations have goals and initiatives. Planning is the process of defining the steps, identifying the resources, and scheduling tasks and events to achieve a goal, such as a project, product development, or any other team initiative. It focuses on how an effort will proceed with attention paid to schedule, quality, and cost.

Planning occurs on multiple levels from specific tasks to strategic plans, but all planning is structured to focus on the steps to ensure high quality, completion within a budget and on schedule.

construction planningWhy Planning is Important to a Leader

Leaders are measured on results and planning leads to the achievement of results. Successful leaders understand how to plan and then measure the progress toward achieving results. Teams that work well together have synchronized plans and individuals gain faster and better results.

Benefits for the Leader

Projects and initiatives that are planned well succeed. The time and thought given to planning results in more efficient work, with a higher quality outcome. Using planning techniques helps the leader prioritize tasks and measure the results. Planning also enables the leader to ensure that efforts are prioritized, measured and support the strategic plans of the organization.

Top 3 Coaches Recommendations for Planning
  1. List your current projects and tasks. Identify the goals, milestones, and control mechanisms for each. For any that do not have these three elements, take steps to develop them.
  2. Build time into your schedule for sacred time (see The Leadership Compass, Chapter 9 for a description of sacred time). Devote at least 20 minutes every other day to think strategically about how you are doing things. This time should be quiet, uninterrupted time devoted to creative thinking about what needs to be done, what is working, and what is not working.
  3. Build a responsibility matrix that lists your responsibilities, those of your peer leaders, and those of your individual team members. Are there any overlapping responsibilities? Are there any important areas that are not under anyone’s responsibility? Review your matrix with the appropriate people to clarify any unclear responsibilities.

Be determined to improve your planning skills and behaviors. Take the short self-assessment on this page to identify where to improve your planning skills and behaviors. Then, get more coaches’ recommendations in Chapter 9 of The Leadership Compass: Mapping Your Leadership Direction to help you fine-tune your planning skills and behaviors. 



Measure your planning skills and behaviors!

Select your level of agreement with each statement in the self-assessment.
When answering the questions, consider how others might evaluate your planning.


Recommended Planning Books:

Related Competencies:

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