Thursday, 23 December 2010

How To: Planning for Action

Whether you are undertaking class research, or trying to make a difference, it is important to do a bit of planning. Sure things may not go according to plan, so be ready to change directions a bit - but still have somewhere to go when you start.

What is the problem? This will be the thing you want to change, your goal. You need to ask yourself, is it realistic to try to change this? Be specific here - do you want to solve the litter problem at your school or in the whole town?

List the people and things you will need to reach your goal. With people resources, consider the different tasks they might have, the skills they will need. Other resources will include things like money, office space, access to a telephone, a rubbish bin.

Identify your supporters. Who are the other people in the community or area who are effected by this problem? They will probably be keen to get in there and help. While it's great to have lots of helpers, it is also important to have someone in charge who is keeping track of everything that is happening.

Who are the movers and shakers you need to contact in order to get something done. At school you will need to talk to the principal and take your ideas to the school council. In your neighbourhood, you will need to contact the local council or elected officials.

List the things that you need to do. These will be different depending on what your action target is. It may involve writing letters, brochures, or organising meetings or working bees. List the people you need to contact. Aim to allocate tasks to specific individuals. You are more likely to get something done if someone is responsible.

How long is all of this going to take? Developing a timeline is important. This may be a general guess that, yes it should take two weeks. You could also aim to develop a project timeline.

How are you going to evaluate your success? While you may be part way to your goal, it is a rare action plan that hits its target on the first go. Often you will need to stop and rethink your strategy. This does not mean that you have failed, but simply that things haven't gone to plan and you need to re-check your tactics. Of course all may be well.

The question then - is "what is the next plan of attack?" You will need some skills in order to put your plan into action.

Link: Planning for Action