The Benefit of a Written Plan by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

Many people see the value of having a written plan in theory, yet have trouble actually writing out plans for their own projects. This is usually because they either don’t know where to begin, or because they believe that the plan will change so frequently that it doesn’t make sense to document.

However, even if you believe those two statements to be true for your business or project, it’s still helpful to have a written plan. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Putting your plan on paper will help you to formulate it more completely. All those things you don’t know – you’ll have to start thinking about them in order to write them down. That thinking will help move you forward in your plan. As you move forward, other questions will arise, helping you to further flesh out your plan in order to get it on paper. If you need help to get started, you can find plenty of business and project plan examples online.
  1. You’ll have to commit. Writing a plan down helps you to commit to certain tasks and timeframes. This kind of commitment helps prevent floundering, which stalls a project’s progression.
  1. You’ll be accountable. Writing down your plan and reviewing and revising it periodically will help hold you accountable to yourself to do the things you need to do. It will also help you to stay on top of where your project is heading compared to where you originally thought.

It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect

Don’t avoid having a written plan because you know it won’t be perfect. Nobody’s original plan for a project or business is perfect. Make a commitment to reviewing the plan at certain intervals and make updates as you go. Sometimes, learning what doesn’t work is as important as learning the things that do work. Seeing your plans written down, and how you’ve revised and updated these over time can be very valuable in moving forward in your project and in preparing for future projects, so be sure to keep each revision of your plan as documentation.

Written plans can be a great way to document your journey on a project or a business. These plans can serve as both a roadmap to help you get where you’re going and a record of how you’ve achieved your goals.