Why Planning is Key

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What is Planning?

Planning means analysing and studying the objectives, as well as the way in which we will achieve them. A process of organising your goals which involves decision making about desired ways and means to achieve these goals. It provides direction for action and ensures that goals and objectives are clearly defined so that they act as a guide for deciding what actions should be taken and in which direction.

Why is planning important?

It helps us achieve our goals and allows for more efficient use of time and other resources.

Characteristics of Planning:
Looking ahead
Intellectual process
Involves choice and decision making
The primary function of management
A continuous process

Recognizing the Advantages of Planning:
Gives a sense of direction
State / Focuses attention on objectives and results
Establish a basis for teamwork
Help anticipate problems and cope with change
Provide guidelines for decision making
Serves as a prerequisite to employing all other management functions.

Planning Made Easy

1) Idea:
Its starts with having an idea. Having an idea is important, without ideas progress is not possible, change does not happen…Therefore, the more ideas you have, the more you should expect to grow.

2) Analyse:
This involves collecting and analysing the information you will need to decide on a goal and purpose that is:
Relevant to your target community
Realistic in terms of what is possible and likely to make a difference; and
The most effective and appropriate contribution given the current situation you want to change.

3) Forecast:
This is a technique that uses collected data and inputs to make informed estimates that are predictive in determining the direction
of future trends. Forecasting can be used to determine how to allocate budgets or plan for anticipates expenses for an upcoming Civil Works for the Upgrading of the Kabale – Lake Bunyonyi and Kisoro – Mgahinga (33.5km) period of time.

4) Develop – Practical Implementation of plan  / idea:
These are the strategic measurable criteria that are used to evaluate objectives. By using the below method:
Develop objectives
Develop tasks to meet the objectives
Determine resources needed to implement tasks
Create timeline
Determine tracking and assessment method
Finalise plan
Distribute to all involved in the process

5) Implement:
This step involves detailed planning about how to / or how you will implement the strategies you have decided on. You will mostly use decisions about the most effective strategy to achieve each objective to decide:
What major activities will take place or will be needed
Who will be responsible
By When should activities be completed
What should be set and what specific resources will be needed for the activities required to achieve each strategy

6) Evaluate:
This step involves planning how you will determine your progress and what has been successfully achieved. This needs to be done at the. It also ensures that you have a clear and agreed basis for assessing what was actually achieved and your progress along the way. In this step you will use your needs  analysis and overall plan to finally decide:

  • What criteria or indicators you will use to  progress and achievements in relation to your purpose and specific objectives
  • When you will monitor progress and evaluate achievements
  • Where and from you will get the information you need
  • Who should be involved in monitoring progress and evaluating achievements; and
  • How you will collect the information you will need.

Once you have made these decisions, you will have completed the planning processing. Now all that is needed is to summarise your plan in a neat, clear and easy to use form so that it is a useful record and guide for all those who will play a part in implementing it successfully.

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About Michelle Ngubo

I have been working at L2B since March 2014 and my current position is Content Researcher - Africa Department and Classy is the best word that describes me.

L2B Blog: Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

Exploring New Ideas in the Role of the Project Manager

If you are involved in the construction industry you have most likely come into contact with a Project Manager (hereafter referred to as a PM) or heard of one mentioned in the process of developments and particularly larger developments.

Certainly in Leads 2 Business’ Projects Department PM’s are one of the most common professionals we deal with. The reason for this, is their role within construction projects.

So, what does a PM actually do? It would seem rather obvious right, they manage the project? But nothing is ever as simple as it seems. PM’s actually do a whole host of duties.

Some of which include: planning, organising, controlling, communicating, executing, reports, programs, advice, analysis, resource control, health and safety, budgets, administration and handover.

All of these duties are done ensure that the project runs successfully thus lowering the risks while meeting all of the objectives timeously to ensure completion which effects the profitability of the project.

So, when do new ideas come into the picture? What new ideas would PM’s have to explore in todays construction industry?

To be honest, I was at a loss when pondering this question, after all I’m not a PM and it’s not a role one easily assumes to answer. So I emailed a few PM’s to get some feedback on ideas that they might want to put out there… but still no luck, probably snowed under with work given our economic environment. I scoured the Internet and there didn’t seem to be any publications or news out there for new ideas when it comes to PM’s until I happened on some LinkedIn Posts. Phew!

This may not be a new idea but how about technology, either using existing tech and / or molding it to PM’s requirements, partnering with IT and creating PM specific tech or even sharing your tech tricks with other PM’s? For example: Ahmed H. Emam, PMP writes “Detect and Fix Dangling Activities in Time Schedule using Excel Macro.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/detect-fix-dangling-activities-time-schedule-using-excel-pmp

Using tech could make PM’s jobs easier but some seem to think that PM’s might be replaced in the future by Tech/Bots. As Oliver Yarbrough, M.S., PMP illustrates in “Can a Robot Do Your Job? Here’s “How Project Managers Can Survive a Takeover.” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-robot-do-your-job-heres-how-project-managers-oliver

There are some things that tech, no matter how advanced it gets, cannot replace. Oliver suggests to focus on the following skills in order to stand out: “Leadership, Diplomacy, Negotiating, Public Speaking, Emotional Intelligence, Communication (verbal and nonverbal)” and instead of fighting tech, work with it to enhance your service delivery.

Another thought also came to mind: what is one of the key aspects that I think of when I think of a PM? It would have to be communication. So, what new idea would make communication more effective? What about a platform where all the schedules, notes, admin, planning and analysis can be seen by all the professionals involved in a specific project? Where each person can make notes or get alerts thus avoiding confusion, emails back and forth, potential loss of material, and saving time, something like Google Sheets for PM’s? Does this already exist? It’s possible… calling all PM’s out there, let us know! Perhaps I need to patent this idea.

After all, we all know that communication is key whether you are a PM or not. Another useful tool to facilitate communication and interaction between professionals and all other contacts which fall within the scope of projects is to use L2B (Leads 2 Business). If you are looking to get involved in the different aspects of construction, information is our business. We encourage communication, new ideas and growth in order to build and establish business.

If any of the above sparks your interest leave a Comment below or or Contact me on SashaA@L2B.co.za







About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life. Remember: If You Fail - Fail Forward