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Logical planning in a creative world

The importance of thinking ahead

Everyone has a plan.

Whether it’s a web design amendment note in your phone, some hastily scribbled post-its or a detailed schedule marketing plan with colour coded tasks, if you’ve got something important to do there’s usually a plan. That’s why in our business, plans are a part of everyday life.

So what’s the secret of good planning? Simple – start at the end.

It may seem odd, but all the best-laid plans work backwards. Every project will have an end-date or deadline to aim for, so that becomes your starting point. From there you can work out how long each stage of the project should take, building up a series of steps or ‘milestones’ that can be used as a guide for everyone to refer to.

That way those involved with the project (including the client) should know what they need to do and when, making the whole process run smoothly. Well, at least that’s the theory…

As ever, things can change as you work through your plan and the project develops. But by having those milestones in place, it’s easy to see what’s achievable in the time you have – so it becomes easier to prioritise and make adjustments.

There are other benefits to drawing up a proper plan too. By laying out all the stages in front of you it’s easier to recognise where future problems might occur. And by seeing where bottlenecks of tasks are, you can arrange to delegate or get additional help in good time.

Specific project or overall workload, it’s also important to keep reviewing your plan to make sure things are on schedule and accommodate any changes. Personally I like to go over them every day before going home (that way I know exactly what needs doing the next day, and can get off to a flying start in the morning!).

So whether it’s creating an award-winning branding and online marketing campaign or cooking a roast dinner, there’s simply no substitute for having a ‘to-do’ list of tasks (even if it’s just in your head) to make sure it all goes smoothly. And of course, if you’d like us to plan your next project get in touch. Just email us at hello@thrive-creative.co.uk or call 01260 281 546.

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