For any business to move forward, grow and develop we need to have a plan. It might be (in fact very often it should be) simple and it might be short. No plan very often means no progress.
So what makes a good plan? We all know of ‘The Business Plan’ – a rare document usually prepared because the Bank Manager asked for it, placed carefully in a drawer and never seen again. This is not an action plan, more a set of aspirations put down on paper. It has a missing ingredient.
A good plan is very clear and specific about four really important things:
- What results do we want? These are the goals or objectives we want to achieve in the period of the plan.
- Specifically what needs to be done to achieve the results?
- Who will do the things that need to be done?
- And here it is, the missing ingredient…when?
Very often we are actually pretty clear about the results we want. The things that need to be done may be pretty obvious, and in most businesses even who will do them. But until we have answered the WHEN question nothing much will really change.
So our action plan must tell us specifically Who, What and When