Cleaning the Kitchen: Five Phases of Planning

by Rita Roy, Technical Assistant – RCC Auditorium/Campus Center Office

Stress-free productivity can not be achieved without understanding “why” you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. This is the first step in his Natural Planning Model. Outcome Visioning; it’s not enough to have the vision yourself but you MUST communicate the overall vision to all parties involved so that good decisions can be made throughout the whole process. Sometimes this is something we must question our client about; what do they want out of the project/event?

Brainstorming can be fun if you working in teams and everyone’s approach are open and judgment free. I find that a good brainstorming session can give a team many options for success. Brainstorming is only successful if you write down everything and only make cuts once brains have run dry.

Organizing is easier said than done. Whether you’re fancy is in color coding, A-Z files, or computerizing; it must be a system that can be utilized throughout the process and be understandable to your team mates.

Is it time to act, yet? Putting the plan into action is the most exciting part. It should not be rushed into without the above steps. A lumberjack will sharpen his blades for hours before he makes a single cut (Thanks Ed). You have outlined your process and your outcome, the exact order of detail may or may not matter. When you put the plan into action you must keep the purpose of the project in mind.

So . . .  you need to “clean the kitchen.”  No matter whether you are cleaning the kitchen or getting ready to plan the next big project, these five phrases still apply!

1)    Ask yourself why? So that the cats don’t lick the dishes in the sink? So that it’ll be clean for cooking the next meal? Because people will be coming over for a party?

2)    What’s the expected outcome? Just cleaning the dishes? Do countertops need to be clean and clear for craft-time later? Do you want to impress a visitor?

3)    Brainstorm your assets. Can you get someone to help you? What tools do you need? Sponge, soap, paper towels, dust pan and broom?

4)    Organize your process. How much time will you give yourself? Does it make sense to wipe down the counter tops before sweeping the floor? What will be the first thing you do? What must be the last thing you do?

5)   Put your plan into action. Do you begin with clearing the table of dishes and leftovers? The order of actions is not as important as reaching your expected outcome with the final step. For me it’s cleaning out and washing the sink drain.

What are your personal secrets for effective project planning?  We’d love to hear your thoughts!


About cindykane

Director of @BSUInvolved and interested in leadership and professional development strategies. Mom, scholar-practitioner, looking to make an impact!
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