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Action Plans, Schemes & Small Scale Planning

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You've got a small project and you want to make sure that all of the bases are covered.

 

How do you do this? Do you make a to-do list? Do you create an Action Plan? Do you practice SCHEMES - a useful mnemonic for all of the types of tasks that may be needed - Space, Cash, Helpers/People, Equipment, Materials, Expertise, Systems? (Not all of the SCHEMES tasks are applicable to each project.)

 

Let's discuss how to take the reigns of a small project so we are managing the project and the project doesn't manage us.

 

~Ruth

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Do you practice SCHEMES - a useful mnemonic for all of the types of tasks that may be needed - Space, Cash, Helpers/People, Equipment, Materials, Expertise, Systems? (Not all of the SCHEMES tasks are applicable to each project.)

 

Hi Ruth,

 

I'm interested in hearing more about the practice of SCHEMES. Are there any other websites or resources regarding this? I usually just break projects into smaller tasks and create a to do list, but I would like to consider SCHEMES in the future.

 

Thanks,

Leslie Keffler

Virtually Done

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To put SCHEMES into practice let's think of putting together a newsletter as an example.

 

Space ---> Block time in schedule to execute this project

Cash ----> Funds available to utilize an online service --> Often client paid service

Helpers/people ---- > Need the person handling this --> VA; Also need client input

Equipment ---- > Need a computer, an online service

Materials ---- > Need articles or need to do the research to find article content

Expertise --- > Need to know how to edit, copywrite, use the online service (Aweber, Constant Contact)

Systems --- > The online service being used, planned date for newsletter release

 

When thinking in SCHEMES you pull together all of the elements of the project into one place.

 

To-Do Lists are the topical lists we all use to note general tasks that we want to do.

Action Plans outline in more detail the "way" we will carry out a specific to-do item.

SCHEMES provide the overview of who, what, and how components are going to fit together to produce the end goal/result.

 

I do have a reference website that covers this in more detail. Checkout out MindTools at http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_04.htm .

 

So, now everyone tell me what you use; if any of these, To-Do's, Action Plans, and/or SCHEMES. For me, it depends on the task at hand.

 

~Ruth

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Ruth,

 

I'm a list-maker, so the action plan is broken down into categories like TO DO (roughly in the order tasks need to be done), TO CALL, TO BUY, etc. This grouping also helps maximize my time--I can get all my calls or all my purchases done at once, instead of jumping from task to task.

 

Debbie Lynn

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I think I do the schemes part in my head and then the rest I do in BaseCamp.

 

In BaseCamp I enter in the project, then break it down in to milestones, then enter tasks necessary to complete each milestone and assign the tasks to various people and experts.

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Many of these things are done in our heads or simply come second nature.

 

I've found if we are accustomed to using BaseCamp, ClientSpot, etc. that we tend to map out these plans more often. This is for the benefit of the team but shows how well we really do manage our projects - small or large.

 

Being able to grasp the task and know the steps to reach the final result is not something that comes easily to everyone.

 

Great job in planning, ladies!

~Ruth

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