We all know how to plan, and usually, we already have quarterly or half-yearly plans in place, but in these times, it is necessary to tweak our projects and to rethink our strategies. Because a lot of things have changed in the last month, a month ago, you could not even imagine the entire population of India sitting at home, but today this is a reality. We could not imagine a lock-down of this scale and period. We need to now get used to something like this until there is a vaccine in place for the pandemic. There are already talks of extending the lock-down. Another drastic change is in the price and demand for oil, which was a much sought-after commodity, but has fewer takers today. There is a severe drop in demand and prices of oil in the international market. That is why we need to think out of the box; we need to consider unthought-of ideas and keep them in mind while planning today.
There are 5 points to help you plan better:
Identify the main challenges
In these changing times, nobody is sure of outcomes anymore. So, make the strength of your planning. Think of all the main uncertainties and challenges that you can imagine in your business. Stick to those that you think will affect your business the most. List them down – writing them down will help you face the uncertainties, rather than be surprised by them when they occur. And then think of ways to tackle them head-on.
Categorize these challenges
Now you need to categorize these challenges into three columns – a best-case scenario, a worst-case scenario, and a mid-path. The best-case situation could be your original pre-crisis plan, which you already have in place. In that case, you only have to work on your worst-case project and a mid-path plan.
Plan for each scenario
Once you are done, plan for each situation separately. If you can make three plans for each scenario, that would be even better as it will prepare you for many more circumstances. Better to have nine different methods than not to have any at all or have fewer than required.
Remember to change your plans
Once you have made all your plans, remember to revisit those plans every week or every two weeks to check if they need to be altered. Things are changing every day, and new uncertainties may have to be plugged into your plans.
If you are still not sure if you have covered all the possible scenarios, you can make a list of trigger points too. For example, if you are not sure about the interest rate in the future, make a plan which will be triggered only if there is a change in the interest rate. If you are not sure about raw material prices, make a plan which will be triggered only if there is a change in the raw material price. Identify all such trigger points and make plans accordingly.