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We are wrapping up this blog series with the fourth and final “P”: Planning. You’re probably in one of two camps here. When you saw the word “planning” maybe you got all giddy on the inside, or maybe you started sweating and got a little (or very) nauseated. Whatever your reaction may be, proper planning is not easy for most of us. Some people spend all their time planning and never really get anything done. While others create highly involved and intricate plans that can’t survive the first left-hand turn. Some of us faithfully plan to plan, but never actually plan. Some people can’t even spell “P-L-A-N!” No matter where you fall in the spectrum, we believe this post will greatly benefit you and your planning efforts…or lack thereof.
To start, notice all the elements of this blog series, (Process, Platforms, People). Now, imagine the Four P’s as a four-piece jigsaw puzzle. The picture is never going to look right without all the pieces fitting together properly. Once you get the first three P’s properly in place, then it becomes possible to get your planning right too. In other words, if you know what you are doing, how you are doing it, what you are doing it with, and who’s doing it, then you are ready to start some bang-up planning. That’s the first step.
Next, we have to realize that “plan” in its verb tense, “planning,” is much more powerful. One of my favorite quotes is from Dwight D. Eisenhower. He said, “plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” In reality, just about every plan is erred by the time the ink dries. Conditions change, and in the fast moving climate of today’s business culture, conditions change quickly. We must be clear on where we are going, but be willing and able to account for changes—agile, if you will. A good plan establishes goals, stakeholder alignment, strategies, tasks, deadlines, and resources. But, even the most carefully plotted route can’t predict every wave in the sea. Good planning is iterative, and it’s adaptable to the prevailing seas, so that you never get off course.
It is also very important to realize that we do need a clearly defined starting point. This is a period of time that is unmistakably different from the actual project or initiative we are pursuing. We can’t just start planning and executing at the same time with any expectation of efficiency. There has to be an obvious separation of the initial planning and the project itself.
While we are in planning mode, there are a few critical actions we have to take.
- First, develop an initial plan that establishes enough focus and parameters to move efficiently.
- Next, make sure to include all the right people and get them involved and aligned from the very beginning.
- Lastly, this is a tough one, we need to make sure to exclude the wrong people from the project. Every person on the team must add real value in some measurable way. When we have people involved without a real purpose, it can cause the project to flounder.
- get the first three P’s in order,
- do planning (not plans),
- separate initial planning from the actual project,
- include the right people,
- exclude the wrong people.
If you do this faithfully, you have a much better chance of landing at your desired destination. We’ve worked through the Four Ps with dozens of companies and find that careful application of these principles really does yield profitable results. If you are interested in having TeamBuilder Search help you improve your team or assist with your next hire, please email or call us (614) 852-4465.
Watch for an upcoming post that will give you access to the 37 Questions To Ask Yourself When Building A Digital Marketing Team. This is an extremely high-value tool and we are sure you’ll benefit from using it!