A Plan – What is it?


Everybody, and I mean everybody, tells me, you and everybody to plan for… (Insert – the future, your life, career, love life…)

That leaves me with the question – Do you know what a plan is? I mean really understand what the different elements of a plan really are?

Definition: A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with timing and resources, used to achieve an objective. It is commonly understood as a temporal set of intended actions through which one expects to achieve a goal. – Wikipedia

So from the definition above we know that a plan should have:

  • Goal, Objective or outcome (list of deliverables)
  • List of steps or actions (May include logic like dependency and predecessors)
  • Time (Labour, elapsed time and duration)
  • Resources (human, capital, time and objects)
  • Value measurement (Quality statement and benefits)

If you have all this, it should all come together like:

Ta Daaaa… end of Lesson…. Thank you, come back next week…

Plans lead to success

Plans lead to success

But, I’m stuck over here:

Where to start a plan?

Where to start a plan?

I don’t know where to start… There is just soo much stuff… See:

Unplanned Plan

Unplanned Plan

It looks NOTHING like the plans they put forward…

Where do I start? What do I do?

Ok so, you twisted my arm.

Finding the right goal

Finding the right goal


Element 1Understanding the objective

Here are the most important steps to execute to end up having a plan (with all the good stuff inside).

You call this help? What does Scoping mean? Please translate this into ENGLISH…..

Step 1 – Know what you want. Know exactly what you want. Include the stuff that you don’t know to make sure that somewhere, you can build it into the plan where you make a decision once you fully understand if you want something or not. Most importantly – write this stuff down to allow you to come back and check against the original goal.

Step 2 – Look around and try and figure out what other people with similar problems have done. Get more than one possibility and be genuine in evaluating the level of success each of these possibilities offered where they were applied. Most importantly – don’t discard anything now, you don’t know what the probability of success in your situation is.

Steps 3, 4 and 5 – Apply (theoretically) the possible solutions in your situation. Consider the impact, cost, duration and try and estimate how complex it would be make it work. Most importantly – estimate what the realistic chances to be successful with each of these options are.

Step 6 – It should become clear now that some of the solutions will work better than others for you in this situation. Select the one with the best chance of actually working. Most importantly – walk away from the discarded options and channel all your energy into making sure that the option you have selected will work.

Element 2 – Figure out what to do next

Amazing as this may sound, we have the capacity to build stuff in our minds and we can then work “backwards in time” to get a clear roadmap or path to reach a goal.

Step 1 – Visualise the goal as if it has already been achieved. Make this picture as clear as you can. Take it to extremes like experiencing the emotions of achieving this objective; smell it, hear it, see the sun glinting… Most importantly – visualise the completed or finished result.

Step 2 – Get a realistic understanding of where you are now. Get honest, don’t soft-soap or be gentle. Most importantly – understand that this is your point of departure. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Many have achieved great things from starting in humility with nothing and little to no opportunities. You have already seen your future…

Step 3 – Find the shortest route to achieving the goal. I cannot stress this enough… Most importantly – the shortest route requiring the least amount of resources and time almost always returns the best results. Things like motivation, endurance and determination become significant issues when you travel the scenic route…

Step 4 – Identify the big moments. On this road that you are about to travel, you should find places where you can “stop and recuperate”. It is almost exactly the same as driving a long distance. You need moments to just stop and reflect. Most importantly – choose the rest spots looking back from the goal to the starting point. This perspective will allow you to see things as if they have already occurred and your perception of these rest-spots will be result and not problem orientated.

Step 5 – Fill in the gaps. Now that you know what the main moments are; fill in the details from where you are now to the first big moment. It is almost impossible not to start filling in the blanks between the next moments. Most importantly – just get enough detail down between the next moments to stop wondering about them. Focus on getting the detail of reaching the next moment. Understand that you will have to repeat this step every time you reach one of the big moments.

Elements 3, 4 and 5 – Time, resources and value are related

Now for the big surprise…. These three things are interrelated and interdependent. So if you want to travel from point A to point B very fast, you will need a fast car, which cost lots of money. Should you want to get there in style, well those cars are expensive too. If you are the champagne, caviar and first class jet set; I hope that you understand we are talking big money now.

You may elect to go the dirt cheap road and simply arrive at point B; you have to pace yourself here… Both ways… Most importantly – choose the car well. Too expensive and you don’t have enough money to make it to the end; too cheap and the car may not see the end…

So you need to look at the items listed in the “what to do next” section and attach time, money and resources to each one…

End Game

If you have written down all the stuff that you have decided, elected and seen, you will now be in possession of something that will answer these questions:

  • What
  • How
  • When
  • Where
  • Who

Congratulations – You are now the proud owner of a well deigned, well thought through plan that presents a very high probability of success. You will now be able to communicate clearly to yourself and others what you are doing and why; know when to do what as well as constantly know what will happen next.

Welcome to the world where you can now say to other people…..

You are a winner

You are a winner

I hope you enjoy this journey and would like to invite you to comment, share and splash this around…

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