A SIMPLE GUIDE TO HELP FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO GET IT DONE... Where do I start? Everyone has had the experience of planning something, only to have their best laid plans go down the drain. It is particularly frustrating when you have been depending on someone else or some situation to make your plans succeed, and they don't. "If they had only followed my directions, things would have worked out." or, "It was a good idea, but it didn't work." On the other hand, you've probably also experienced the frustration of trying to follow someone else's plans or directions. Anyone who's tried to assemble a child's toy knows what that's like. "The guys that thought up these plans didn't know what they were doing." or, "They just don't understand practical problems." The problem of planning and implementing programs hits on two basic areas:
*FIRST: Getting students organized so that the job gets done -What do we do? -How do we do it? -Who does it? -Who makes sure it gets done? -Typically a small group of leaders thinks up an activity and then tries to find some other students to do it.
*SECOND: Planning an activity which will attract students -Even if the internal problems of planning are solved, an event may still fail because nobody showed up. INDIVIDUALS SHOULD AGREE ON FOUR GUIDELINES IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL PLANNERS: (1) goals, (2) need, (3) a plan of action, and (4) who's involved.
WHILE KEEPING THOSE 4 GUIDELINES IN MIND, YOU SHOULD ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: Who, What, When, Where, and How? In planning programs, it is important to answer these questions: WHO? Who do you hope will participate in the program? *A general student group? *A specific student group? *Only members of your organization? *What are the participants interests and needs? Who will be included in planning the program? *It is usually a good idea to include representatives of all groups you hope will participate. *Constant communications should go on with you and the appropriate individuals regarding financial resources. *What are the planners' personal resources (skills, time, etc.)
WHAT? Goals: What do you want the program to accomplish? *For your organization? *For the other participants? Content: What specific type of program should be planned?
WHEN? When would you like the program scheduled? *Check for conflicts with test schedules and other major campus events. What "lead time" is required? *To schedule facilities? *To prepare and post publicity? *To schedule resource material? *To purchase materials and services?
WHERE? The location can have a significant impact on program success. Consider the following when scheduling facilities. *Accessibility to program facilities. *General comfort and atmosphere. *Flexibility (can people move around easily?) *Availability of needed equipment. *Cost, if any, for facilities and equipment. HOW? What is the best format for accomplishment your purpose? *Larger or small group? *One event of a series of program? *Mixed formats? *Other? How well did it go? *Evaluation: *How well did the program fulfill its purpose? *What changes, if any, would need to be made in planning for similar programs in the future?
OOPS! AVOIDING COMMON MISTAKES Assuming, and we all know what that does, that careful planning has occurred, there is still the problem of getting the job done. Any leader must decide how much to do himself/herself and how much to delegate to others. But the way in which one delegates to other may determine how well the job gets done. Remember you are no better than your ability to delegate responsibility to others. As a student leader, your job is to get things done. Some useful guidelines to help you avoid common mistakes in delegating responsibility are: *Pick The Right Person: Half of the battle is won if you carefully select the right person for the right job. The person picked should have some interest and ability in what needs to be done. You especially must have confidence in the ability of the person to do the job well, and let them know that you have this confidence. *Clearly Define The Task: Define the overall goals of the task, and what results you expect. The person who is doing the job needs to know what you expect. *Allow For Freedom Of Action: You should allow the doer freedom to get the job done their own way, but within the context of overall goals and expected results. Usually, the more freedom of action a person has the greater their involvement in the task and the better the results. *Make Available Information And Resources: Sometimes the doer needs to know facts and sources of help to get the job done. Be careful, however, that you don't infringe upon the freedom of action of the doer when you provide facts and sources. Assume, I know, he can make good use of what is available to him. *Establish Criteria For Evaluation: Let the doer know what a good job is, and how to evaluate a good job from a mediocre or bad one.
MAKE IT OR BREAK IT!!! These are the "details" that can make or break a program. Be sure to consider the following as you plan your program:
TIMING: *Be sure to allow yourself the time to plan, schedule facilities, etc. *You may want to work with a planning timeline as you develop the program.
PUBLICITY: *What is the most effective way to get word of the program to your group?
MONEY: *How much will you need to produce the program? *Where will the money come from? *How will you account for the funds?
POLICY: *Are there campus policies, procedures, or permissions that will relate to your program?
COOPERATION: *Is everyone working together and toward the same goal? *Do you have enough manpower?
FOLLOW-UP: *Clean up: *Evaluation and success of the program?
GENERATING IDEAS & IDENTIFYING RESOURCES A well-known process used to generate ideas is brainstorming, by which as many uncensored ideas as possible are listed in a given amount of time and later prioritized. Another is free association - naming an item, idea, etc. and allowing ideas to develop from the first named. Finally, a key ingredient to idea development is awareness of one's surroundings. As you walk across campus what thoughts cross your mind that can lead to programming? As you walk through the mall, what potential ideas can be found there? The list is endless, however, here are some of the "old" and perhaps some of the "new" sources for ideas:
ON-CAMPUS RESOURCES? *Students *Parents of students *Faculty & staff (survey forms) *Departments (academic and non-academic) *Campus organizations *Support services (student affairs, career, advising, learning, etc.) *Athletic programs
WRITTEN LITERATURE RESOURCES? *Activities oriented magazines (College Union, Student Activities Programming, etc) *Chamber of Commerce Directories *Newspapers *Special papers which highlight area happenings *Literature from State fairs, art shows, etc *Professional journals *Newsletters *Telephone book
COMMUNITY RESOURCES: *Athletic clubs *Art galleries *Airlines *Business and industry *Churches *Ethnic groups *Government agencies *Community groups (Kiwanis, Rotary, etc.) *Educational facilities (high schools, Intermediate units, colleges, etc.) *Restaurants *Stores (all types) *Taverns *Travel agencies *Television stations *Recreational facilities *Libraries Last but not least... colleagues, conferences, word of mouth
Steps in Planning a Successful Program
A. Assess needs -target population
1. Date, time, location a. Check for conflicts
2. Reserve location a. Paperwork b. Maintenance c. AV equipment d. Security
3. Funding -Where will money come from -Detailed budget
4. Contracts -University agreement
5. HELP! -Form committee -Update meetings -Who is responsible for what
6. Publicity -Faculty/staff -On campus -Off campus-University relations
7. Days prior to event -Confirm everything -Maintenance -Security/parking -AV -Food service -Performer
C. Evaluation/follow-up -Committee meeting -Submit contracts for payment -Thank you letters
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