Tutorial 2 – grouping

Okay, you have created your plan, with all your tasks in a logical order, but that is not all you can do. Another great use for Plan-too planning cards is ‘grouping’. Looking at your laid out cards they may already fall into logical groups. There are probably the ‘basics’ – maybe in a business plan these cover setting objectives, registering the business name or finding premises. So, you can group all these together. Then there may be a research stage, followed by a planning stage and finally an implementation stage.  Grouping tasks like this can help the whole project seem clearer and less daunting taken stage for stage.

Another way to group tasks may be by function.  Looking at all the tasks in your plan they may be able to be grouped under logical headings – for example: finance, marketing, legal, management etc. Sort the tasks into relevant groups and give each group a label – maybe use a post-it note. Now you can identify which tasks you can pass outside perhaps – maybe to your accountant or lawyer.

Grouping can also be a good way to delegate groups of tasks to partners, teams or colleagues. To an outsider, these may not seem to fall into logical groups, but for you and your team you can group them to play to peoples’ strengths. These are really useful exercises to do with others in a team. It sparks off ideas and discussions and ensures a buy-in to the project by all involved.

You can also group tasks by priority – high, medium and low priority. When working alone, I often classify high-priority tasks as those which are very important, and only I can do them; medium-priority are important, but if necessary can be delegated to somebody else. Low-priority are least important and easily be handled by others.

If you are an entrepreneur or sole trader it can often be useful to group your tasks in whatever way seems useful to you, and then ask somebody else to come and look at them, and give you their comments and input. It’s very easy to get tunnel vision when working alone and it can be easier to explain your thinking with the cards laid out to get some impartial input.

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