The #2 secret to successful outsourcing is…
[Drum roll, please]
Now I’ll be the first to agree – that is not the sexiest answer in the world. But its the truth. The reality is you have to force yourself to do these less-than-sexy things to get your business successful.
"If you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?"
Rogers & Hammerstein
You’ve got to know what you want, what you expect. What are the outcomes you want? The objectives?
The grander overall vision comes into action steps within the Planning stage.
This simply means outlining the process of how to go from where you are to where you want to get.
This does not need to be complex or overly technical. In its smaller steps, this boils down to explaining what you want in clear terms. We need our 6 Soldiers again – Who, What, Why, When, Where and How.
What is going to be needed?
Who is going to do each step?
Lets debunk some of the fancy terminology used in this image here:
- Define the problem – obvious
- Map stakeholder interests. Who wants to achieve what? What is everyone’s ‘Whats in it for me’?
- Analyse institutional resistance. In most smaller companies this will mean who is going to dig in their heels a bit, harrumph and generally not like, or fight against, the plan?
- Engage the stakeholders. Get those harrumphers and the team in general onside and give them a reason to want to successfully get to the end-goal objective
- Seek agreement on whet needs to be done. Self explanatory but essential. People who have publicly said they will do something are FAR more likely to get it done. Get agreement
- Implement changes in policies, programs and procedures. AKA “Just do it”. Get it done.
- Reflect, Make adjustments. Re-analyse how well you did and what can still be improved.
Bless those MIT boffins for making some sensible advice seem too lofty for general use. As you can see, my interpretation puts it into general, everyday understanding so you can plan more effectively.
You need to consider this overview:
- Vision: the non-specific directional and motivational guidance for the entire business. What will the business be like in five years time?
- Mission statement: a statement of the business’s reason for being. The mission statement is concerned with the scope of the business and what distinguishes it from similar businesses
- Objectives: SMART objectives set out what the business aims to achieve
- Goals: specific statements of anticipated results
What is your Personal Planning Method?
Personally, I prefer good old fashioned pen and paper at this stage, and just scribble, scratch, rewrite and generally get through a lot of paper and make a mess. Then I hone it down into a tidier display of the plan. And then hone it more. Add more ideas. Strip out the dumb ideas that on reflection are never going to work or never going to realistically get done.
Again, it is an iterative process. It gets better over time with each redraft.
People are all different. We’ve often heard that people differ on whether they are a visual person (likes to ‘see’ things), or an auditory person (needs to hear things or imagine hearing things) or kinesthetic person (needs to feel things or conceptualize the physicality of something)
There is more to it that this, but it is a good start. In addition, some people are more emotional and need to feel the emotion of the plan.
There are many different types of intelligence, including the more limited numbers and language that are traditionally taught at school. Spatial intelligence is handy in planning certain projects to see how they lay out.
Who you are and how you are will effect the way you do you planning.
The 2 most-favored methods are
- Pen-and-paper notes, and
- Mindmap (possibly using software)
I tend to fuse both together.
Here are some tools to help you – you already know where you can get a pen and paper 😉
Evernote.com – This is an awesome free software service for taking notes, written text, images and audio notes. You can use it on your iPhone / smartphone, laptop, desktop computer, iPad / tablet. It will sync between your devices, so you can make an audio recording note on your way to the office and have it on your Desktop already waiting for you when you get there.
Process Mapping software – Process Maker
Make sure you do not get lost in the planning process. Get it done and outline clearly what you want to achieve and how to get there. Then stop planning. As this great wall poster from Despair.com shows, over-planning can be an excuse for twiddling…
So plan it, plan it clearly, then stop planning -and start putting it into action with your outsourcing team.
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