1) The basics of sharing work plans and objectives:
Very often we face a normal need to share our working plans and goals with those people whom we collaborate with (in terms of cooperation required by our common business activity or some shared projects). At utilitarian level we are proposed to use a great bunch of proven tools for this sharing: e-mails or written notifications, working timetables and calendars, instant messaging and personal meetings, etc.
It seems that nothing surprising or intricate is in this process, but what may look simple and natural at first glance, often appears quite difficult in practice. Let’s briefly outline what items are usually included into conception of sharing working plans between two or more persons:
- Sharing actual workloads and tasks;
- Sharing a common mission and purpose;
- Sharing progress on what they do;
- Sharing their ideas and intensions;
- Sharing their accountability and mutual expectations;
- Sharing a way of thinking;
2) Why we may need to share working plans and goals with others?
- Seeking Coordination: If we are unable to share working goals and plans with our co-workers, then we cannot normally coordinate our efforts, hence, at some point of time, we seriously risk going in different directions and therefore to miss the common result at the end.
- Arising Mutual Responsibility: Sharing responsibility for outcomes is what makes teamwork primarily different from individual work. Coherent individual interests in delivering collective results are the best driver for people to team up and share their plans.
- Seeking Facilitation: When someone works alone, he or she stays yet very limited in his or her capacity, but two people are already potentially able to accomplish much more. People sharing the work can complete it much easier and faster, as everyone will process only his own portion.
- Seeking Support: Usually we are responsible to our supervisors or managers. We need to seek their managerial support and awareness; hence we need to share our plans with them (to inform them about what we are going to do and what have been done already). Also this refers to more experienced employees whose advice you may seek.
- Seeking Control: Usually you may need to share your working plans with others in order to avoid making wrong decisions or doing false actions. This could be a managerial supervision provided by your upper managers, or a supervision of a team leader coaching and guiding you through your work.
3) How work plans can be shared effectively?
As it was mentioned before, there is a great abundance of instruments available to us for sharing working plans. It is up to you which tools to select, but there is a common algorithm that may help you in doing this:
- Determine the best way to represent your work plans and aims (or several ones):
- Task Sheet (a plain list of tasks);
- Categorized list of tasks (tasks are projected and classified by certain groups);
- Calendar of tasks (time-grid or timeline with task records);
- Timetabled tasks (multi-column sheet with a plenty of task attributes);
- Notifications explaining your goals and mission;
- Find out what would be the best ways to reach your vis-à-vis regularly or irregularly:
- Personal meetings and conferences;
- Electronic communications (collaborative software, phones, Internet, etc);
- Paper-based instruments;
- Appoint and hold a meeting (or a session of teleconferencing) with your partner(s) to share your information with him/her/them;
- Represent your work plans and objectives to your partner(s) as appropriate and:
- Make sure your partner understands the scope of work and its objectives;
- Explain and reason involvement that you except from him/her;
- Make sure he/she understands and accepts his/her involvement;
- Get finally clear on personal assignments (or other purpose of sharing);
- Make sure your partner got a copy of document representing your work plans;
- Agree upon how you are going to keep on sharing information (updates, changes, etc);
- Maintain frequent communications to update progress and intentions by phone or email;
- Schedule special dates to hold further personal meetings regularly;
- Use selected communicational tools for keeping in touch with each other on the progress;
- Keep mutual responsibility and align a diversity of opinions with the shared result expected;
You may check a way of sharing working plans with a help of collaborative software, such as VIP Task Manager. How this is carried through a set of simple steps is explained in the next paragraph:
4) A simple way to share work plans and goals with VIP Task Manager:
VIP Task Manager is a product that stands for collaboration between people, so it enables multiple employees to share their working plans with each other in terms of their particular tasks and goals. Let’s consider simple step-by-step instructions to share plans between people using this product:
Instruments to be used:
- Task Tree mode;
- Task List mode;
- Calendar mode;
Task Tree mode actions (define plans to be shared):
- Make sure that you have effective work breakdown structure of task groups and tasks;
- Define whom you would like to share your plans with;
- Adjust Permissions at “Permissions Panel” to allow your partners “View” and “Edit” tasks that you would like to get shared with them;
- Make sure they can see the tasks and task groups you just shared with them;
- Ensure they are selected in the “Watch List”, so they can get instant Notifications on changes;
- Add some explanations into Notes section of each task or task group;
- Use “Attachments” to add some links to work-related documents;
Task List mode actions (review shared plans):
- Select appropriate Task Groups in respective interface panel to filter tasks by them;
- Group and sort tasks by their attributes as appropriate;
- Observe or contribute into the progress (get this recorded or reported through Statuses);
- Seek more information in Notes and Attachments sections;
- Add feedbacks to tasks and maintain feedbacks (“Comments” panel);
Calendar mode actions (to get shared plans mapped on a time-grid):
- Use Calendar mode and its capabilities to review timeline of the shared plans;
- Appoint regular meetings to share ideas and progress;