Planning

Planning 

by Danny Tariman

For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down first and compute the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” (Luke 14:28)

Planning is an essential component of project management. Poor planning will yield to cost over-runs, missed deadlines, conflict of resource schedules, and others.

This is one of the reasons why I am very particular about a well-prepared project plan.

I got some tips on for good event or project planning:

  1. Know the objective of the project or event. Ensure that everyone in the project team has a clear understanding of the purpose or objective.

He said to the people of Judah: “Let’s build these cities and fortify them with walls, towers, and barred gates. The land remains ours because we have followed the LORD our God and he has made us secure on all sides.” So they built the cities and prospered. (2Chr 14:7)

In this verse, Asa (King of Judah) is very clear about the purpose – to build fortified cities – and communicated this to his people. As the later part of the verse says, they built it and prospered.

As leader, you should be able to define very clearly the purpose or objective of the project. The same should be communicated to the project team.

  1. Determine the tasks in as much detail as possible to attain the objective.

Know the tasks required to complete the project. Break it down

Joshua 1:11 “Go through the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your supplies, for within three days you will cross the Jordan River and begin the conquest of the land the LORD your God is ready to hand over to you.’ [Emphasis mine]

Write tasks in active verb. For example: “Prepare your supplies”.

Make it simple sentence (one active verb, one predicate). If you have 2 active verbs, split the task into 2 tasks.

If a task is taking long enough to complete, maybe a few days, evaluate if you can split it into 2 or few detailed tasks. This is a trick that really works for me as I am able to closely track and monitor the progress of the tasks.

  1. Sequence the tasks in proper order. Determine the tasks that can be accomplished in parallel.

God said, “Let there be light!” So there was light. Then God said, “Let there be a canopy between bodies of water, separating bodies of water from bodies of water!” Then God said, “Let the water beneath the sky come together into one area, and let dry ground appear!” And that is what happened. Then God said, “Let vegetation sprout all over the earth, including seed-bearing plants and fruit trees, each kind containing its own seed!” And that is what happened: (Gen 1:3,6,9,11)

The story of creation is a beautiful story on how orderly our God is. He first created the light before anything else. He created bodies of water and land before He created the plants and the animals. Could you imagine if He first created the human?

In the same way, we need also to sequence our tasks in orderly way. There are tasks that need to be finished first ahead of others.

  1. Allocate able men for each task.

Nehemiah 3:3-4 The sons of Hassenaah rebuilt the Fish Gate. They laid its beams and positioned its doors, its bolts, and its bars. Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakoz, worked on the section adjacent to them. Meshullam son of Berechiah the son of Meshezabel worked on the section next to them. And Zadok son of Baana worked on the section adjacent to them.

For each of the tasks you had defined, assign members of your project team who will do the job. Ensure you are assigning men who have the required skills and knowledge of the job.

  1. Estimate the duration of each task.

For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down first and compute the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” (Luke 14:28)

Given the manpower you had allocated for each task, assess the skills of each resource you had assigned. Determine how long it will take to finish each task, give some buffer, and estimate the full duration of each job.

At this point, evaluate whether the project will be finished on target date. Add or reduce manpower assigned to the task as maybe be necessary, making sure that objective is attained.

  1. Determine the critical tasks.Evaluate the tasks you had outlined and check which among the tasks have dependent tasks, and therefore cannot be delayed – as it will result to delay in the succeeding tasks.

I am engaged in an important work, and I am unable to come down. Why should the work come to a halt when I leave it to come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)

Make sure adequate time and manpower are allocated, specially on critical tasks.

During project execution, keep a close monitoring on the critical tasks and ensure these are properly controlled and managed.

  1. Review your plan with your coach or mentor.

Prov 15:22 ​Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed..

Ask somebody – a senior person, your boss, your coach, even your peers – to review your plan. This will help you identify loopholes in the plan, and avoid pitfalls during execution.

May the Lord bless the work of your hands!

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