In the current business environment, efficient planning and preparation are indispensable for any successful manager. As a keystone of strategic management, preparation is the process of defining goals, establishing strategies for achieving these aims, and developing plans to integrate and coordinate activities.
That said, if you are also a player in this business environment, this write-up holds extreme significance for you. Read this article till the end to know more about the essence of Planning and how it should be done.
Planning and preparation can be considered the heart of effective management, as they set the stage for all other managerial activities. Without a clear roadmap, organizations may struggle to achieve their objectives or even define what those objectives should be.
Companies that fail to manage this will find the door to bankruptcy. For that reason, companies like the National Incident Management System, for example, make preparations the initial keys to success.
If a question arises for NIMS when do managers plan and prepare for process? The answer depends on the context. Below is a general overview in the “Establishing Timelines” section to understand the context.
The first step in the process is to define specific organizational goals. These should be measurable and tied directly to the strategic objectives of the organization. An example of a goal could be to increase revenue by 20% over the next fiscal year.
Once you establish the aim, the next step is to identify the resources needed to achieve these aims. These resources might include human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and others.
For instance, to achieve a revenue increase, a company might necessitate hiring extra sales staff or investing in new marketing techniques.
Each goal requires specific tasks or projects for its achievement. If the goal is to increase profits, for example, managers will be required to outline the projects required to meet this objective, such as developing new products, improving customer service, or providing any type of corporate training to employees.
Prioritizing goals and tasks is a major aspect of preparation. By ordering objectives based on their importance, managers can ensure that the most vital ones are tackled first.
The prioritization process should reflect the importance of the projects and their role in achieving the organizational goals.
For example, if a goal is to increase customer satisfaction, like improving product quality or enhancing customer service might take precedence over projects related to internal processes.
Prioritizing tasks is not just about importance; it’s also about sequencing. Some of them are dependent on others; thus, they are needed to be completed in a specific order. Managers have to account for these dependencies when scheduling.
As mentioned in the inception of the write-up, the current business environment is competitive and thriving. This graph is proof of the statement as it shows the Revenue from big data and business analytics worldwide from 2015 to 2022.
After prioritizing tasks, the next step is to assign them to individuals or teams and establish timelines for their completion.
Assigning tasks involves matching each task with the person or team best equipped to handle it. This should be based on the skillset, capabilities, and workload of the individuals or teams in question.
Every task needs a timeline – a start and end date. These timelines should be realistic, considering the complexity of the task, the capacity of the assigned individual or team, and the overall project deadline.
Once the planning is done and the tasks are underway, managers need to monitor their progress and evaluate their success.
Regular check-ins, progress reports, and performance metrics can help managers monitor how well the projects are progressing toward the defined goals. If they are not progressing as expected, professionals need to identify the issues and take corrective action.
Evaluation is not just about checking if the goals were achieved; it’s also about assessing how they were achieved.
Professionals who are experts in managing have to look at the efficiency of the processes, the effectiveness of the strategies, and the performance of the individuals or teams involved.
Despite the best planning efforts, unexpected events can throw a wrench in the works. This is where contingency provisioning comes in.
Contingency plans are “Plan Bs” that professionals can fall back on if things do not go as planned. These plans outline alternative courses of action to ensure that the organization can still achieve its goals, despite the unexpected obstacles.
Planning and preparation are decisive for effective management. By setting clear goals, identifying necessary resources, establishing tasks, prioritizing these tasks, assigning them to the right people, establishing timelines, monitoring progress, evaluating success, and having contingency plans in place, managers can guide their organizations toward success.