There’s a whole lot of planning going on out there in your organisation. Individual planning, team planning, leadership planning. You’ve probably done some planning yourself.
The thing with planning is that it can and will create change and this impending change can cause some turmoil in your teams, so they might need some extra help to buy in.
Just as a simple example, imagine one of your teams decides to reduce their turnaround time for some routine work by introducing a new system.
Sounds great, right?
But how does this change affect the workflow?
- Can the people next down the line be ready in time for their part in the new production schedules?
- What about your team? Is everyone trained and capable of working to the new plan?
- And what about your systems? How will they be introduced, documented and monitored?
We both know that when you change one thing, it has a flow-on effect through the organisation. Unfortunately, most plans don’t take that into account. The impact on stakeholders, even if they can be identified, is rarely considered.
Now, as a training specialist, you’re used to looking at the big picture, but your teams may not be so able.
So, what can you do about it?
- Help people understand that change has a flow on effect.
- Teach them to analyse their plans to find out who else might be affected by the change e.g. direct reports, peers, staff, other teams and so on.
- Give them a process for communicating the changes and negotiating with the stakeholders who are affected.
- Encourage them to include a process of monitoring the results as part of their plan so they can assess their progress and be sure they’re getting the results they expected.
One of the most delicate parts in helping your teams with their planning is teaching them that it’s OK to make changes to it. While it’s exciting to see their ownership of the plan, they need to be willing to change it when it’s not working.
Plans are flexible. Their designers need to be, too.
Just as a final word…
When you ask the question, “Who are your plans going to affect this year?” make sure they include themselves and their families on the list. Those are the two most commonly overlooked stakeholders, yet they’ll experience the biggest impact of all.
If you’d like some ideas on how to lead your teams through the planning process, take a look at my free online program Set Yourself Up for Success. It will help you with your personal planning and give you some great ideas and resources you can use to guide your team.
If you’d like to talk to me about anything I’ve mentioned here, please give me a call. I’d love to hear from you.