The Project Plan


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FIR On Strategy with Andrea VascellariThis is part of a series of posts that explores the “Adaptive Digital Strategy Framework”, an operative guide that I created to plan, execute and manage strategy programs more effectively and efficiently.

Each podcast of this series comes with show notes that briefly summarize the discussed topics. For the full commentary you will have to listen to the audio.

“FIR on Strategy with Andrea Vascellari” is part of the “ FIR For Immediate Release Podcast Network”.

As a strategist, planner or leader in your organization, you are tasked with casting a vision. You are the one that sets the strategy, and defines how it will have to be executed. But in order to create a strategic communications initiative you need an operative structure, you need a plan.

In this episode we’ll understand “what’s the plan”, why it’s important and then I’ll share with you 5 key questions you should be asking yourself when you start to work on a communications plan.

“What’s the plan?”

When you start to work on a new project it feels almost natural to say “so, what’s the plan?”. This is what we are going to talk about today, it’s about “planning the plan”. In this cast we look at an “operative framework” you should use when starting to work on a new communications plan.

Why it’s important to have a plan?

There are main reasons why having a plan is important but I would highlight two that I find particularly relevant:

  • Having a plan is about making sure you have thought about all the key things you need in order to craft your communications strategies.
  • It helps you define the structure of what’s going to be your vision, your mission, your narrative and the values that support your communications.

How do we plan?

These are 5 key questions you should be asking yourself:

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  1. What are the key deliverables? What are we going to create. A key deliverable is an item – either tangible or intangible – produced as a part of the project.
  2. What are the milestones? Focus on steps. What steps do we have to take along the way in order to achieve our outcome – not’s sure about what I’m referring to as outcome? See episode #21 about “the project scope”.
  3. What are the checkpoints? By when you estimate these deliverables and milestones need to be done. Maybe you have 4-5 deliverables till you get to the final outcome of the project. This has to be more a rough guess rather than a precise timeline. 
  4. What are the priorities? Define them. What comes first, what comes last, what comes next.
  5. Who are players? Plan ahead for any external resources and coordination you need.

Having a plan for your projects not only allows to focus on what needs to be done but it also gives you the opportunity to define the operative structure of how you are going to ultimately position and grow in the competitive landscape once the project will be up and running.

Over to you

This is based on my experience, what would you adjust based on yours? What do you think about it? Is something missing? Looking at the sector you are working in, would you approach this differently? Let me know in the comments.

Andrea @vascellari
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