Looking at the human race today, it’s one of the most iconic success stories of modern-day evolution. What sets them apart from any other animal are a few key traits such as brainpower, communication skills, and their social structure. With such complicated relationships and the ability to form tight bonds, humans become conglomerations that are all but indestructible. From football teams to business corporates, the rise of man can be attributed to his ability to work hand-in-hand with another. However, for a unit to be cohesive, they must be directed by someone with competent leadership skills, the instinct of a protector, and a well-prepared action plan.
What is a Team Action Plan?
While it is evident in most cases that a group requires a leader to function, having one that is incompetent is worse than having none at all. Even the business industry is not an exception to this rule either, as one main cause for failed project proposals is a lack of cohesion. Hence, the most essential part of any enterprise-related endeavor is the formulation of an action plan. From various construction progress reports to budget worksheets, business documents require not just a certain finesse, but a sense of direction that directly mirrors the purpose of the text.
However, it isn’t just the document that needs a clear point. The team assigned to execute the task also requires just as much cohesion. This is where a team action plan comes in handy, as these documented procedures dictate the flow of the entire project, event, or budget. An advantage of having a team-specific action plan instead of having a general consensus of protocols is that particulars within a department are addressed. Matters specific to either sales, business, or even personal matters and team relations are easier to plan out.
Plan Smart, Plan Out
“Smart” is such a relative term in this day and age as it belongs in various contexts of both word use and expression. For example, you could be a wise-cracking mime with a radiating smile and makeup as thick as elephant skin, and you can be considered smart. You could also be the stereotypical high school genius with near-perfect grades and a small pout on the rare occasions they get a grade below an A–. However, business tactics require you to craft proposals and smart action plans based on criteria from an acronym of the previously-mentioned word. Aptly named the “SMART” system, this method of approaching your industry revolves around grounding your ideas on five “pillars,” per se, of practicability. To this day, the relevance of this business tactic resonates so loudly among entrepreneurs that learning to plan smart and plan out has become a slogan of sorts among successful corporations.
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How to Plan With Your Team
An action plan drafted by a competent individual in itself is a valuable asset to advancing business. However, if you want to see this document at its finest, it needs to be made for and by the team intending to use it. Sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as it sounds. With that said, to help you corral your team and keep them focused on the objective, here are a few friendly suggestions you can follow.
1. Inform Your Team of a Meeting
A prerequisite to this suggestion is giving prior notice of the meeting. Calling for a meeting becomes significantly easier when everyone has had time to prepare at least 3 days before. As mesticulous as it sounds to start work days even before the planning starts, the convenience it brings on the needed timeline is well-worth a few minutes of printing and distribution.
2. Introduce the Task
Task and team introduction are done for the same purpose, but for slightly different results. When introducing a team, your objective is to urge them to mingle and enjoy each other’s company to create a better work environment. When you introduce a task, however, the ideal situation would be for your team to start chewing into it like sharks on a feeding frenzy as they understand the core concepts of the project down to the bone.
3. Don’t Inhibit Thought Sharing
To be clear, this does not equate to “no longer curtail irrelevant ideas.” While it still isn’t advisable to, for example, partner-up with rival kingpins reckless abandon, you don’t want to shoot down every new idea introduced. Instead, make good use of the “SMART” system and critique these proposals to see if they meed the standards needed.
4. Have Meeting Minutes
Short, simple, and essential to the success of your team action planning: use meeting minutes. These documents are either undervalued or overlooked entirely in some cases, yet they bring so many advantages to the table when doe properly. Having documents that record the suggestions, events, and progress of each meeting allows you to compare and contrast notions, challenges, and objectives.
Leading a team of individuals in any profession or context is naturally a challenge. Not only do you need the knowledge to prepare for what’s to come, but the conviction to convince the masses and the fairness of a court judge. With that said, in the context of business, the best way to lead a team is to create a patented plan of action alongside them. This allows them to be well-acquainted and willing to carry out the procedures of any project. After all, the finest leaders in history understood the power of both a plan and people, why not learn from them?
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