Effective planning is usually the result of seven specific steps
Consider the task. This involves what has to be done, who does what, when, where and how.
Consider the resources. What time is available? What are the skills of the group? What equipment and supplies are need and available? What other items should be considered?
Consider the alternatives. What happens if something goes wrong? What are the emergency procedures? What’s the alternate plan? Could the alternative plan work out better than the original plan?
Reach a decision. Who was responsible? Is no decision a decision? Is a poor decision better than a no decision? Is a group decision best? A decision is usually needed at ever step in the process.
Write down the plan. The act of art 9 writing down an action plan may cause it to be revised or refined. The final may need considerable discussion.
Put the plan into action. All too often great plans are formed but never followed.
Evaluate. Evaluation must take place all during this proecess. As each step is taken, it is evaluated against the previous steps to assure that the original task is still being considered.
In many ways, the steps to planning are similar to those of problem solving. Solving a problem is type of planning—developing a plan is a type of problems solving. Substitute the word, “problem”, for the work task and the seven steps can be used in either case.
When faced with a specific project to complete or a problem to solve a process known as “verbal rehearsal” works well and is easily understood by boys. Here the group literally “talks it up” as they decide how to approach the project or problem. As in classic problem solving, seven steps are involved:
What’s the problem? A problem is a situation that a group may need or want to do something about. A clear understanding of the problem is needed before the group can set a goal.
What’s our goal? A goal redefines a problem into a positive statement which answers the question “What do we want?” A goal must be important to the group and must be realistic, not based on wishful thinking. A goal should require the group’s best effort and they should feel good after reaching it.
Stop and think? Here the group should stop talking and allow each person to examine the problem and goal before consulting to the next step. Often boys – and adults – take the first suggest that’s offered and jump directly into action. If each person takes a few moments to think and form their ideas, they will be able to add some original thought to a plan to be followed.
Make a plan! A good planner is always looking for options. The ability to thin of a large number of possible pathways to reach a goal is an important skill. “What happens if …?” examines the consequences of a particular course of action. For each alternative there are pros and cons. Once the alternatives and consequences have been discussed, a decision is made on a “start-to-finish” plan.
Do it! Action must follow the planning. If the group has discussed the plan in enough detail, each member will know how to proceed.
Keep at it! Nothing worthy of achieving is gained without endurance. The group must recognize that before a plan is abandoned, sustained effort is needed. Sometimes only a small adjustment in the plan is required to make it work.
How did it go? Was the goal attained? Did we give our best effort? What might have been changed? It’s important to evaluate the entire problem solving process so that the result will be a better plan next time.
Disclaimer: Troop 411 and Pack 3411 makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this Internet site. However, Troop 411 or Pack 3411 does not guarantee the accuracy of completeness of such information.
Any links from this site contain information created, published, maintained, or otherwise posted by organizations independent of Troop 411 and Pack 3411. Troop 411 and Pack 3411 does not endorse, approve, certify or control these external Internet addresses and does not guarantee the content of such sites.
Use of any information obtained from this site, child sites, or linked sites, is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after a review of its accuracy. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service does not constitute or imply endorsement, or recommendation by Troop 411 or Pack 3411.