Effective planning can be the difference between a successful submission or a rejected document. But don’t get too carried away in the very early stages.
Contrary to popular opinion, the plan doesn’t need to be in place immediately, and in point of fact it can be counterproductive to produce a detailed plan too early in the process. After all, how can you produce a detailed plan for an event that you do not yet understand?
Have an open and flexible approach to developing the plan, though always obviously with a specific outcome in mind.
At the beginning of the process spend some time with your team discussing the project; brainstorm ideas, workshop them. You may already have a clear idea of where you are heading with the project, but it is entirely possible that during sessions such as this, your team may conceive ideas that had never occurred to you. They will also likely need to spend some time getting to grips with the ideas you put forward so these sessions can perform a useful dual purpose.
Adopting a more fluid approach in the early stages such as this means a plan can develop organically, and is much more likely to be realistic, achievable, agreeable and understandable to your team members. This is the foundation of not only your plan, but your kick off meeting when the broader team becomes involved.