WORK PLANS in 10 Minutes

Most productive people use some form of a work plan to sort out what they need to do and to guide them when they are doing the work.

People generally agree that they need a work plan for new work, but often feel that planning takes too long and it is better to just get on with the job.

This article explains how to develop powerful work plans in less than 10 minutes using a simple one page work plan template.

Work is usually done more efficiently when a work plan is followed. Work plans range from a simple list of the actions required to get the work done to more detailed plans that include the information required for people to work together (collaborate) effectively.

Over 15 years ago, TASKey developed a simple one page work plan template that has been used by thousands of people for fast powerful work planning. A free copy of the blank work plan template, instructions and completed examples are provided for your personal use at Plans.pdf

The goal of the template was to provide a simple means that enables anyone to develop an understandable and workable work plan in less than 10 minutes. The logic was that few people could argue that they didn’t have 10 minutes available to develop a plan that will enable them to get the work done in a way that minimizes costs, risks and stress.

It has been our experience that most people can fill in the work plan template in less time than many people take procrastinating about starting a work plan. Plus key information that is written down makes it easier to achieve a common understanding of what needs to be done, by who and when.

The template has four main parts:

1. The vision that outlines what success looks like (why) and highlights key boundaries/constraints
2. The actions required to implement the plan (who, what, when, how)
3. Stakeholders, responsibly, and resources (who, with what)
4. Any risks that need to be monitored

This may sound like a lot of information, but it is usually readily available to someone about to initiate a work task. We have found that if some information is not readily available to the planner, simply asking other people involved will fill in most gaps.

The SECRET TO SUCCESS – TASKey has found that the fastest and easiest way to complete the work plan template is to first enter the task name and the goal. Then fill in the rest of the boxes in any order. You will find that information in one box will help you think about the relevant information for other boxes.

In the examples provided, you will see that only a small amount of relevant information is required for people involved to understand what they need to do. In most cases, work plans are hand written and completed in less than 10 minutes. Progress can be easily shown by marking completed actions as complete.

TASKey has developed web and mobile browser software that can simultaneously manage thousands of work plans being done by thousands of people. The basic process is still the same for each task work plan. The software simply makes it easy to scale up to the number of related tasks required for larger tasks (such as projects and organization wide initiatives).

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