An IT Director for a Fortune 100 company once said to us:
“Now that we’re Agile, we don’t have to do all that planning anymore!”
Every organization plans. Especially in Agile. And, planning exists at every level of the company. From strategic plans which impact major lines of business, to daily task plans that impact one person’s work; before and after lunch. Regardless of what level of planning you’re doing, there are 5 keys to making sure your planning sessions are most effective and produce the results you’re looking for:
⁃ Make sure the meeting location is appropriate to the type of planning you’re doing.
⁃ People should have access to the information, tools and support they need to deliver the expected results.
⁃ Make sure you have invited the right people to contribute to the conversation. Conducting a planning session without the right people in the room will always result in miscommunication and rework.
⁃ Make sure the people know why they are even in this meeting and what they are expected to do. Time is money. Be sure to include a brief agenda so everyone knows what topics will be discussed and what results do we want to get from this session.
Action: ⁃ Before you end any planning session. You’ve gotta have action items. Make sure that people know what to do, who’s doing it, when it needs to be done by?⁃ Also, what should they do if they run into a problem or impediment?
⁃ Make sure that people have checkpoints, to review and share their progress and adjust as needed. Teams should operate with interdependence; We are good as one but we are better together.
Effective planning practices help organizations run more efficiently. Expectations are clear. Impediments are addressed quickly. Results are realized regularly.
Want to make your planning sessions more effective? Remember to always consider the 5 keys to make any planning session most effective: Set the right environment. Consider your audience. Send out an Agenda. Set action Items. Make sure you and are your team members are accountable to one another for delivering results.