Plan Plan Plan
It’s your plan
Take a moment to envision the peeling of potatoes. In your mind’s eye, you might have seen different tools being used, but you were able to “see” the process. Now you have a plan for the next time you need to peel potatoes.
Or, at least, you have a portion of the plan for peeling potatoes. The full list might include retrieving the potatoes from their storage space, picking up your peeling tool of choice, determining where the peeled skins will drop, and so on.
You get it. Planning has to do with envisioning what is to come, the future. And planning means relying on the information you’ve stored from your past.
3 weird truths about planning
· Planning boils down to decision making.
· Not planning is the same as planning, but with different consequences.
· Effective planning embraces changed and changing plans.
3 important types of planning
The organized contractor knows how to distinguish, develop, and deal with the three types of planning.
1. Long-term – strategic
2. Project – tactical
3. Daily – operative
Long-term planning -- Strategic Development
Your strategic plan involves looking at what your construction business does, narrowing it down to what you do best, and building on that information. With that information in pocket, then you decide where to spend your money and your time.
What comes to view during this planning process is your purpose, your mission, and your vision.
The less thought of, but possibly more important, aspect of long-range strategic planning is that the process allows for, even demands, a thorough search of choices, opportunities, and preferences. All that to say, somewhere down the road, you’re likely to see that some of the strategies or techniques you rejected are better than those you initially chose.
Without the strategic planning process, you may have missed options or contingencies that you find yourself able to draw from now that the obvious reason has arisen.
The 5 “Ds” of implementing strategy
1. Determine where you are.
2. Define what’s important.
3. Decide what you must achieve.
4. Delineate who is accountable.
5. Debrief and Evaluate regularly
The three main types of projects a construction company implements are:
Internal projects: Such as document and record proper processes, implement an appropriate organizing system, or develop an employee manual.
Tactical projects: These might include things like find a better lead solution, develop a better quality control system, or design more robust supplier protocols.
Recurring projects: While recurring projects happen on a regular basis, They’re still unique and temporary in nature. You know what these are. They are your bread and butter. They are your jobs. They are what cause you to be a construction contractor.
A construction company’s projects should achieve defined objectives while remaining aligned with the company's strategic plans.
It is in the daily planning where you have the opportunity to make all the other planning have meaning, come together in a significant way, and propel your construction contracting business along the proper path.
Daily planning is an executive function. It is how you break down complex tasks into bite-sized chunks. You’ve worked hard at making plans, now it is time to use the plan.
I don’t know what information “Cliff’s Notes” offer on the subject of determining task significance, but I’m going to give you the “Yvonne’s Notes” version.
· Urgent - How soon does it matter?
· Important - How much does it matter?
· Significant - How long will it matter?
(OK, so this is the “Yvonne’s Sticky Notes” version. I “found” this information on a sticky note where I jotted it down one day for my own use and I don’t know who to credit or I would.)
3 good quotes about planning
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Winston S. Churchill – “. . . the best generals are those who arrive at the results of planning without being tied to plans.”
Dwight Eisenhower – “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”
The best planning quote
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near one.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
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