Planning, Checklists and Re-planning Way back in January 2020, we wrote about re-planning through projects (click here for that post on 'Planning and Re-planning'). I shared my experience hiking the Kokoda Track. Of how changes come out of left-field, and the need to adapt plans as circumstances change. A plan is evolving based on the changing circumstances around you. At that point in time, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and shell shocked from the fires. I was focused on balance and was looking to bring some balance to my project practice after a very intense 2019. Skip to March, and very quickly the circumstances in which we were operating fundamentally shifted. Every project we were working on was put on hold. Many retail businesses grappled with what to do next and how to handle the crisis. So we shifted gears and looked inwards. We've spent some time working on 'how we work', developing our strengths and focusing on bringing our best to projects for clients. We've been pleasantly surprised by the generosity of people and incredibly grateful for the network we've built. Around July I was in a planning session with a group of project managers, working on a 'future 2023' exercise. I couldn't do it. I was stuck; I simply couldn't imagine beyond 3-months into the future. I have absolutely experienced the 'time tricking' that has been a feature of the last eight months. And now, here we are, nearly at the end of the year. Marvelling at how fast, and slow, it has been and the fact that it’s time again to focus forward and look at 2021 with fresh eyes. You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. ~Steve Jobs 2020 At 6R we’ve been reflecting on the year; the things we’ve learned the things we’ve loved. The things we’ve longed to be different and the things we’ve lacked. We’ve: Learned that we can do projects via little squares on the screen. It’s not ideal and it requires a great deal more effort when it comes to building rapport with a team but it’s still workable, achievable and doable. Loved spending more time at home and less in traffic. For years, I have referred to my work bag as my office but I now have a desk set up at home that feels comfortable and there is even a plant on it. I move around a bit to keep things interesting and provide me with a change of scenery (I mean it’s been years of working in transit/other people's offices so I need to keep it fresh). Longed to be able to see the project team in real life, to share that energy that we get when people get excited and focused on a project. To be able to use a physical whiteboard and work out ideas together, to be able to call a group together quickly and get feedback from people without having to organise a meet up or call. Lacked certainty about just about anything. It’s been said that certainty is an illusion and that most of the time we’re just tricking ourselves into believing that we’ve got control over a situation. True or not, this has worked out a lot of the time so it doesn’t get questioned very often. 2021 After thinking about what’s been good/different (unusual) about 2020, we are planning out 2021. For those who’ve worked with me before you would know that I am a big fan of the 52-weeks on one-page ‘perspective shifting’ year planner (with credit to Janine Garner and Kieran Flannigan, who first introduced me to this concept). Each year now, we review this plan, we follow the method of looking for an overarching theme for the year and of 52 things to do in a year. We have included a link to the planner below if you want to join us in this exercise. We have found that whether we follow the plan to the letter it’s a good way to get focus for the year and get ‘real’ about how much time we really have. Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even should they rarely stick to their plan ~ Winston Churchill Click here for your free 52-week calendar I also wanted to make the point that checklists are really helpful at the moment, I was listening to this podcast about whether checklists make us "stupid". The premise assumes that if we develop checklists, we're not bringing critical thought to the table. Even when we have checklists we still need to bring some thoughts, but right now, checklists are a great reminder (in case all that time warp stuff has got the best of you) and a good place to start as you plan out what the festive season has in store. Our yearly 12-point Christmas Checklist is a good prompt for reminding us what's needed at this time of year. Click here to view our 12-point Christmas checklist!