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Ombuds’ Insight: How to make sure your plan produces the expected results

by Tony Belak, UofL ombuds last modified Apr 13, 2012 10:43 AM

The best laid plans of mice and men often fail in the implementation stage because the planners do not consider the realities of life, the workplace and people. To help assure that the great ideas we generate are translated into actions and desired results, here are a few key elements to consider:

  • Begin with the end in mind. Start with a clear picture of what is to be accomplished and make sure everyone sees the same vision. The goal should be stated simply and concisely so it is easily understood and comprehended, even if the mission is complex. Remember the power that political campaign slogans have in rallying the masses to action.
  • Develop the roadmap. The path should be precise and easy to follow so that people can visualize where they are going. Each organization is a living museum of what has been tried and failed in the past, so don’t repeat history.
  • Enlist the support of others. Enthusiasm is contagious, and people who are adequately informed and feel they are part of the team are more likely to respond positively and lend support in any way they can, even in small ones.
  • Create checks and balances. As the progress of the project evolves, it is important to assess success and realign responsibility for adjustments or modifications. A timeline can be helpful and lets everyone know where they are along the path to the goal. Let people know the status of the project from time to time and monitor the progress so everyone can visualize success.
  • Be consistent and reliable. If you are the mentor of the project, people will read your responses for signs or reflections of success or failure. Honest and consistent information will slow rumors and build camaraderie. Form alliances with influential people within the organization to disseminate accurate information and facts.
  • Share the glory. When success smiles on the project and the plan comes together as designed, celebrate and recognize the people who made it happen.    



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