People PlanWhen you plan a project, initiative, or piece of work, do you put the key people on your timeline? Do you consider exactly who you need to (understand, agree, guide, etc.) the decision or work of the plan?

If you do, I would bet that the point on your timeline is a meeting and probably a standard or big meeting, not the interim conversations and meetings.

When teams hit barriers to their intended outcomes, the likelihood is that “people” are at the heart of the problem. Imagine if you built stakeholder management into the plan. Here are three possibilities:

  • You could design a meeting knowing exactly who you need to inform or influence on exactly what issue.
  • Team members can share the influencing work—just like each basketball player covers a player on the opposite team.
  • A senior executive with serious personal power might advocate for the team.

When you reflect on the people on your timeline, you can think about influencing “over time” rather than an event. So, take that plan out, draw a timeline on a large piece of paper and put three types of milestones and work segments—people, decisions, and work.