December is a popular time to start planning for 2015. Whether you are responsible for strategic planning, project planning, or your own personal planning, here are five steps to help you get started:
1) Identify your participants. Who needs to be part of your planning team? Easy candidates are subject matter experts and approvers. Consider stakeholders with influence as well as those directly impacted by your plan; if they can make or break your project, they should be included.
2) Create a SMART objective for your plan. What is your team accountable for? Set Specific, Measurable, Agreed-Upon, Results oriented,and Time-based parameters. Write them down, discuss them, and get buy-in from your team before you start planning.
3) Decide upon the best setting for your planning. Choose a conference space that will provide the focus, atmosphere, and planning room that you need. Carefully consider your participants' needs. Selecting the wrong room (e.g. cramped or noisy) can negatively impact your results when you have a non-condusive environment.
4) Develop a focused, timed agenda. The agenda should include the participants, objective, location, pre-reads, topics, and expected outcomes. Send it at least three days in advance so everyone has time to prepare for your planning session.
5) Choose meeting tools and guidelines. As the facilitator, decide what techniques and processes will help you and your participants achieve the outcomes in the environment you want to create. Get agreement on the processes before your meeting to minimize conflicts and maximize efficiency.
We wish you a successful planning session and Happy New Year!
Contact us if you're interested in learning more about meeting planning & facilitation.
Planning Session for the BLM in Nevada