I have learned a lot of lessons from climbing. One of the most valuable, plan ahead. Truthfully if you want to safely stand at the summit making a plan could be the difference between life and death. Taking the time before hand to:
- Set a date
- Get in shape
- Purchase and learn to correctly pack and use the gear
- Map the team’s route (unless you are Alex Honnold–no one makes it alone)
- Share the final route with people at home
Campaign planning and management is the same. After identifying important dates and events its time to figure out what it is going to take to make each of those things happen. In my experience it is easier to work backwards.
Start by breaking each important date and event into its own to-do list. Go the extra mile and schedule each action item, you will thank me later. There is nothing worse than combing back to your check list a week before an event only to find a long list of neglected laundry items. If I have learned anything, make the time to be proactive.
Personally, I like the freedom and flexibility of a gantt chart. Below, I have built out a mock gantt chart for my next post “The Sales Funnel.” I consider this level of detail over-structured, but some managers like to see that you have thought through this many steps. If you content needs to be reviewed and approved, build that into your schedule.
I hope this level of detail will help you think about your project.I like to build Gantt charts in Excel because it is easy to add lines as I think of more action items. It is easy to evenly divide the timeline by days, weeks or months depending on the level of detail you need.
If you prefer, there are a lot of project management tools available online. Some are better than others, it may be worth your time to do some experimenting.