This time we’ll discuss the last part of A3 document – action plan. The beginning of A3 creation is available here: PM in our everyday life. A3.
The action plan is very important part of the project, as if we do not understand where we are, what comes next and what activities have to be done at the beginning – there is a great chance to fail.
First, let’s see on the whole route for planning:
From my point of view this is the minimum list of actions if we want to understand how it’s going.
- Fix the goal: we’ve already done it and put it in first two sections of our A3.
- Define the tasks: here we create a list of actions that must be done in order to achieve our goals. On this step you must understand tasks priorities also. For example: if we do not book our flight ASAP, the prices for the tickets can rise and in this case, we have to replan our journey or our budget. The same about hotels.
- Link tasks: define task sequence. It’s important, as some activities can be performed only after others are finished. For example, we cannot get visas without booked flight and hotels. In simple projects this can be set by action dates, you do not need project tool and Gantt diagram for everyday projects )))
- Set resources: in simple project set responsible persons. The responsible does not mean, that person perform all activities alone – it’s a teamwork. However, the best practice is to set only one responsible for a single activity. I try to follow this rule in my work and in my everyday life either.
- Control the execution: this is not planning we’re moving forward, but static plan makes no sense. If we’re not monitoring the process of task execution and changes in dates – the project usually fails.
For our journey project, we can set the following action plan. One more time I want to pay your attention to the columns responsible and schedule. Without these two columns plan is not a plan, just a list of actions.
|Reserve vacations for three weeks||Father/Mother||till 15.12.2016|
|Book flight to Milan||Father||December 2016|
|Book hotel in Rimini||Mother||January 2017|
|Book hotel in Munich||Mother||January 2017|
|Book hotel near Como Lake||Mother||January 2017|
|Rent a car||Father||January 2017|
|Prepare and apply documents for visa||Mother||February 2017|
|Create a detailed journey plan||Father||February 2017|
|Get visas for travel||Mother||March 2017|
|Create account in EURO linked with debit/credit card||Father||April 2017|
|Organize GPS navigation for the journey||Father||May 2017|
|Plan budget for the journey (book online tickets, plan everyday expense, etc)||Father||May 2017|
Last but not least, project plan must be flexible. The goals and target conditions are not declarations in stone – they can be changed. Common sense must be on the top, and also it’s your life and your journey and you’ve changed your mind – just modify goal, targets and action plan.
To sum up I’ve created the final A3. Of course, the form can be any, but if you put it down and all team members (in our case family members) agree with it, the chances for really great journey are greatly increased.
That’s all for this series of using project management in our everyday life.