Failure to plan means that you can most likely plan to fail at whatever you're doing,
Due to the inability to see and forecast what could happen and not having an action plan to base off of.
One thing you need when planning is a system for strategic planning.
From the beginning to the end and back to the beginning.
Only with a solid system can you hope to be cognizant of what's going on in all planning phases of your project.
I have four phases that I use when planning events.
Each phase branches into the others and the last builds back into the first.
The Discovery Phase:
In this phase, we are building the idea behind:
- What we're doing
- Identifying potential pitfalls
- Focusing on where we shine
- And working to understand whether what we are planning on doing is a viable option
We need a list of good and bad things associated with the project from each team member.
Once you compile the list and have a general idea developed.
You then look at it in a risk vs reward scenario to move into the next phase.
The Planning Phase:
If you entered this phase we have decided to move forward with the project.
And are now working to develop the structure and the skeleton that we need to build on.
The most important thing here is that we need to ensure that what we are planning operates smoothly.
And has all working pieces figured out and tested to ensure it works.
The Execution Phase:
It's game day! We're at the point to where we're launched and running.
In this phase, we are managing the launch,
adjusting and modifying if things don't go as planned,
interacting with customers and ensuring what we planned goes off without a hitch.
It's important to have at least two contingency plans here in case things go wrong with your initial idea.
The Post-execution Phase:
We need to sit down with our staff after the event and talk about
- What went well
- What didn't go well
- How you can improve in each process for the next one
- And what should stay the same
The point here is to gather feedback from both staff and customers.
And then compile that feedback to take into the next discovery phase.
It's important to get feedback from EVERY staff member involved.
Next up we need to send out surveys and ask the customer how they felt. Some questions to ask would be:
- What did you like?
- What didn't you like?
- What are three ways we can improve?
- What are three things we did well?
Once you have been through these phases you are now armed with the power of having done it and having gained specific and actionable feedback.
This feedback will help to make your next event significantly better as you will know and understand what people want and need!
You can watch my video on strategic planning here
Planning requires a certain level of commitment and we need to be strategic in the way we plan our events, product launches etc.
Let me know what you think of this. I'd love to hear your feedback on strategic planning!