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Posts Tagged ‘operational planning’

Manage your life with a mind map – Five steps to get started

Oct 12, 2011 1 comment

I am always looking for ways to simplify my self management system. In the past, I used an excel sheet to manage my goals, but a few month ago, I started using a mind map to organize and review my targets.

For me, using a mind map is much more intuitive and flexible compared to excel sheets. I am really enjoying this very simple visual way of managing my targets and I would like to share this experience with you. Read more…

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Just updated: Operational Planning Q2/2011 – First targets achieved!

Apr 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I just checked my 2011 targets in the context of my monthly operational planning and I thought it might be interesting to post an update.

To check my current position, I opened the file that I created during my yearly planning and I went through the targets and measures quickly.

Interestingly, I was able to mark the first targets as achieved and I had to integrate only minor changes into my planning.

Finally, I added one additional task to toodledo to start working on an upcoming target which I scheduled for May 2011.

What about you? Are you on track with your targets for 2011? Feel free to post your status! 🙂

My practices how I manage my life in one pdf as download

Feb 13, 2011 Leave a comment

I thought it might be value adding to put all my practices how I manage my life into one pdf to have everything in one compact document which can be printed out easily for example. – And if you are interested in sharing this paper with your friends or colleagues, feel free to send them a copy.

Download now: My practices how I manage my life (PDF, 81.1KB)

Planning – How to realize my dreams?

Jan 19, 2011 Leave a comment

During my last years in school, the idea of visiting all seven continents grew in my mind and this dream was born. But at those days, I did not really start planning to realize this dream. I was just traveling wherever an opportunity arose and many of these opportunities made my visit North America, but no other continents. Thus, realizing this dream was still a dream…

Influenced by the experience that I made within my main job – where I have to plan a lot in the context of project management, continuous improvement and Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle – I began to transfer these planning habits to my personal life. This gives me structure and guidance throughout the year and helps me to realize my dreams.

I differentiate between three different levels of planning:

Strategic planning: This is the big picture of my life that I update once a year. It contains the dreams of my life, my overall goals and looks up to 10 years into the future.

Tactical planning: Once a year, based on the strategic planning, I develop a plan of concrete measures that I want to implement during the next year to get a little bit closer to my dreams.

Operational planning: During the year, I check the status of my measures every month, adjust the planning (if necessary), and add additional activities for new measures to my task management as starting point for my daily operations.

I perform these different levels of planning in a top-down approach from strategic to operational planning on a regular basis and insert upcoming issues during the year in a bottom-up approach from my daily operations into the planning.

To read more about this approach, I recommend starting with the “Strategic planning”.

Operational Planning – Stay focused during the year

Jan 19, 2011 3 comments

My operational planning throughout the year is quite simple. To stay focused, I check my yearly planning once a month and adjust my current activities, if necessary. To remind me of doing this check, I integrated a repetitive 30 minutes task into my to-do list on every Friday of the third week of the month. During these 30 minutes, I check my current status and integrate – if necessary – additional activities for new measures starting during the upcoming month.

For example within the first operational planning of the year – normally subsequent to the tactical planning – I develop and add the first “next action” of all measures that are assigned to the next month to my task management.

As I explained within the “Tactical planning” section, I do not plan all activities to realize the measures upfront. Thus, I have to develop a plan of the activities while doing the operational planning. This gives me the opportunity to be more flexible during the year and to adjust my planning according to the current situation without having spent too much time on the details during the tactical planning.

In short: At first, I have a look onto the dream and the selected measure. Then I think about the necessary actions to realize the step of the measure that is assigned to the upcoming month. Finally, I add the next action as to-do to my task management. That is it!

In the context of the Australia example, I have to define the necessary activities to realize the travel planning: Inform yourself about Australia, define the places to visit, detail the travel route, buy flight tickets, and book rental car and hotels. Based on this planning, I simply add “Inform yourself about Australia” into my task management. Sometimes I insert the rest of the planning into the comment of this task to have it at hand when I have finished this activity.

After doing this for all steps of measures that are assigned to the upcoming month, I am ready to start the “Daily operations”.

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