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Planner Skills & Tips

24 Sep

There are several different job positions in the work world that require planning skills outside of project management field, such as financial planners or event planners.  One might describe a planner as one that is:

  • Goal-oriented
  • Always looking ahead/Future
  • Pervasive
  • Organizer
  • Looks for ways to increase efficiency
  • Flexible
  • Creates/follows processes
  • Pays attention to detail

How Does One Become a Better Planner? 

  • Informal Education: Perhaps you read, watch, or learn from other planners on how they execute an event or project and ask questions/take notes
  • Formal Education: Maybe you took a class, such as project management or system analysis & design, where the professor teaches design the current system through diagramming and look for ways to improve the system or even when you work on group projects
  • Experiment: Plan a nice dinner for your family and answer the questions: Who, What, When, Where, Why and how you are going to execute this event

Planning Skills Considerations:

I feel planning skills can be used on all different types of projects, but some success factors that can help you are:

  • Have Domain Knowledge: For example, if you are a project manager for a construction project to build a new hospital, you should have a background on how to build a building, knowledge in safety regulations, what are the required needs for a hospital, etc.  You may understand each phase that a project goes through, but having domain knowledge in your specialized area you are managing a project is also important.
  • Have Enough Resources:  Different project sizes can be challenging, as you maybe great at planning a small birthday party by yourself, but planning a party for a community event is a larger task, which requires more resources, time, money, and coordination to plan for.  Ask yourself what resources you have and those you might need to complete the task.
  • Make a Task List: It’s important to make a task list of each step that needs to be completed in order to complete the overall project goal.
  • Triple Constraint: Keep in mind the scope, time, and cost of the project when planning a project.

 What helpful planning tips can you share?  Please comment below, as I would love to read them!

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