>Basic Guidelines for Successful Planning Process

Posted: February 19, 2011 in Uncategorized


© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
Adapted from the Field Guide to Nonprofit Strategic Planning and Facilitation and Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation.

One of the most common sets of activities in the management is planning. Very simply put, planning is setting the direction for something — some system — and then guiding the system to follow the direction. There are many kinds of planning in organizations. Common to these many kinds of planning are various phases of planning and guidelines for carrying them out as effectively as possible. Information in this document can be referenced as a basis from which to carry out various kinds of planning, ranging from highly complex to simple and basic. (The library topic Planning describes a wide variety of plans.) To help make the following information applicable to as many situations as possible, the scope of the following planning information is to the “system”, which is fully explained below. The following process should be customized by planners to the meet the needs and nature of the planners and their organizations.

Sections of This Topic Include the Following

Context of Planning

Putting Planning in its Larger Context (Working Backwards Through Any “System”)
Quick Look at Some Basic Terms in Planning

Typical Overall Phases in Planning

Basic Overview of Typical Phases in Planning

Guidelines for Successful Planning and Implementation

Involve the Right People in the Planning Process
Write Down the Planning Information and Communicate it Widely
Goals and Objectives Should Be SMARTER
Build in Accountability (Regularly Review Who’s Doing What and By When?)
Note Deviations from the Plan and Replan Accordingly
Evaluate the Planning Process and the Plan
Realize that the Recurring Planning Process is at Least as Important as the Plan Document
Ensure the Nature of the Process is Compatible to the Nature of Planners
A Critical — But Frequently Missing Step — Acknowledgement and Celebration of Results
The Secret to Ensuring Follow-Through

General Resources

Various Other Perspectives

Also See

Planning (Many Types)
Business Planning
Project Management
Strategic Planning

Related Library Topics

Also See the Library’s Blogs Related to this Topic

In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to this topic. Scan down the blog’s page to see various posts. Also see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the sidebar of the blog or click on “next” near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

Library’s Business Planning Blog
Library’s Leadership Blog
Library’s Project Management Blog
Library’s Strategic Planning Blog



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