Project PlanProject PlanProject Plan

The Real Value in a Plan

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

I am privileged to be working on a team planning a rather large event. There are myriad details to which we must pay attention. Lucky for me, my involvement is focused on the overall structure and the content of the all day event. Others, with a great deal of experience, are responsible for the logistics. Still, this is a daunting task, and yet I find we are staying on track and it’s all due to – yep! – a project plan.

This is a volunteer position for me and any help I can get is deeply appreciated. One person who is volunteering on this five member team is an outstanding member of Vistage, the organization planning this event. His own company, Vision 2 Execution, helps design and implement a culture of execution for its clients. It is my great fortune that he was involved with last year’s event and was able to very nimbly create a project plan with all the major elements for our portion of the event. Now the value in this plan is not simply that it keeps track of all the many details needed to complete a project of this size. The real value, for me, is the clarity gained when we step back and see the whole project at a relatively high and summarized level. At that level, we can also clearly see which of the several volunteers can/will step up and take responsibility and hold each other accountable.

The details are, of course, important. And they change each day as progress is made, stumbling blocks are encountered and new data are gathered. I for one am quite capable of getting down into the details and forgetting to “look up” once in awhile. And trust me, we do manage the details and are also managed by the details of this project. Yet the high level plan becomes a touchstone for the vision of where we are going.

I watched as this team developed a culture of execution and attention to the danger of compromising at the expense of quality, allowing scope creep, denying reality and the ever present concern for volunteer fatigue. I know we will have an “awesome” event and it will be in no small measure due to paying attention to a clear vision and moving it to execution with the guidance of a detailed plan – that can be easily summarized to high level views. (Click here if you are interested in knowing more about this premier leadership event in Orange County, CA)

How are you leading your own company to a “culture of execution?” Have you established a clear vision for your company’s “Why” (to use Simon Sinek’s terminology)? And better yet, are you making sure that you are creating leadership at every level of your organization so that your team is willing to take responsibility and hold themselves accountable for results? Sigh! The work of a leader is never complete!