Wednesday, August 12, 2009

3 Ways To Know You Are Realistic Or Not

In a planning meeting have you encountered a situation where there is a disagreement whether the goal for the project is too high or too low. For example, you think getting 1000 people attending your carnival is too high...but your boss thinks it's possible. Well, today I'm going to share 3 ways you can know whether you are realistic or delusional.

  • Growth Rates
  • Supply & Demand
  • Benchmark

These 3 steps are to give a realistic goal so that:
  • It's not so low that its waste your full potential
  • It's not so high that it will demotivate the team during preparation and implementation
  • It's not so high that it will disappoint the team and destroy team synergy for future projects

Before I go on, please get as much information about the project you want to do from your senior (previous committee), and from competing clubs that are doing similar projects. Get information like the duration of the project (preparation and actual implementation of the project), number of committee members and etc.

Growth Rates

I work in a marketing research firm now. We measure the 'health' of an industry. One way we do it is to measure the growth rate. We find the industries' market revenue of last year and this year, and then calculate it's percentage growth. We then classify the growth rate as below:

5-10% growth Low
10-15% growth Medium
25-75% growth High
>75% growth Explosive Growth

So, you should apply this your project also. Remember, this is what an MNC use as it's standard, OK. Anyway, if last year, your project only get 300 people coming, you cannot say suddenly that the current project you want to get 1000 people, that's unlikely. You can say shoot for the star, land on the moon and whatever but this is the accepted standard among professionals so use it. A 300% increase is an explosive growth plan to do something special to get the 1000 people, which brings me to my next point...

Supply & Demand

So you say you can get 1000 people because you want to do something extra, right? What is it? If you want the people coming to your project increase 300% you must make sure something the committee is doing also increases 300% also. What is it? 300% more committee members? 300% more funds/money? 300% more hours per day spent on the project (very unlikely). These are some examples, make sure they are measurable, because if you say 3oo% 'work harder' or 'work smarter', 'be more creative', 'be passionate', 'we work together' and etc. Most probably it won't happen, it's subjective so people don't care. Read Laws of Teamwork.

So now you know whether your growth is realistic or not, and you considered whether your supply matches your demand. But let's say you don't have data of previous years. Now, what you can do is to take your competitor's data (who are doing similar projects), and redo the first two techniques I shared earlier.

Of Course, there are several things that is not considered in this analysis that might contribute to the success of our project compared to others, especially things outside of our power but as leaders we focus on things we can control, our circle of influence.

Once you have a clear mind, the team agrees and sincerely commits to your goal (no use, if you're the only one in the team who is positive thinking), then the rest depends on having a positive outlook, hard work and luck.




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