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1.4 Explain Plan to Relevant Work Teams

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1.4 Explain Plan to Relevant Work Teams

Now that you have established your plan, it is of vital importance that you explain this plan to the people it would be of use to. Specifically, relevant work teams would need to understand the plan so they can effectively employ it.

The fact is that there is no one set way of explaining an operational plan. This is because different people have different levels of understanding and concern for your plan. However, calling for a meeting to present your plan to relevant work teams would be an effective method of explaining your plan to them. In doing so, there are steps that you can follow. These are:

1. Schedule the meeting

Formalise your meeting by sending out invitations to the relevant attendees. This can be done via email, but you can also mention it verbally or make physical posts about it in your announcement boards. During this step, you would also need to make logistical arrangements for the meeting and prepare the necessary materials for your presentation.

Remember to give attendees enough time to prepare for the meeting, and don’t simply announce it once the meeting is drawing near. Moreover, it would aid you to know who would be present so that you can note how you would present your information in such a way that everyone would understand.

2. Establish your background and provide conceptual tools

Once you are in the meeting, remember not to immediately start by explaining the actual plan. Instead, begin with establishing the background and context necessary for understanding the purpose of your operational plan. Likewise, provide basic knowledge that is necessary for understanding your plan. Highlight key terms and provide clear definitions for these. It is important to first build a steady foundation to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

3. Compare and contrast, describe your plan

As you delve into the meat of the meeting, remember to properly contextualise your discussion and make it digestible for your audiences. Use past plans as a reference point for explaining the current plan, making comparisons and analogies as necessary. Highlight changes and the reasons for this. Moreover, make sure the employees can recognise why this operational plan is essential and, if applicable, preferred or superior to others.

4. Connect your audience to the plan

As you continue to explain your plan, ensure that you are able to help employees connect with it. In essence, this means they should be able to understand the relevance of the plan to them. Shape your presentation in such a way that it speaks directly to your audience. For instance, you can note how they were involved in the process of building this plan (i.e. consultations) and highlight how their contributions are reflected in the final output. It is important that they recognise how the operational plan has personal value to them as this would make them more likely to welcome the plan with open arms and make good use of it.

5. Allow your audience to ask questions 

During or after the meeting, encourage your work teams to make inquiries and give comments about the plan. Keep in mind that how you respond to the questions you receive will make an impact on them. Given this, it is best to plan for the questions and concerns that may arise during the meeting beforehand. Think through these and try to develop concise and honest responses to each of them. By preparing in advance, you will eliminate your anxiety and boost your confidence in the plan.

6. Provide supplementary materials to reinforce your plan

Give your relevant work teams the necessary materials that would help them better understand your operational plan. For instance, you can provide handouts that outline the contents of your plan before the meeting begins so they can refer to these throughout the meeting. Moreover, you can continue giving supplementary materials after the meeting. Examples of this would be regular emails, guides, posters, wallpapers and screensavers, and employee reviews that are relevant to the plan. This is to remind employees of the operational plan and to ensure that they do not simply forget about it once the meeting has concluded.

Further Reading

You will find an example of an Operational Plan on the simulated business website of Bounce Fitness under the Documents/Administrative tab.