A Little Closer In – Mid Level Planning

Mid Level Plan
High, Mid and Low Level planning are similar to breaking down scope, in that you start big and then narrow down into more detail. In planning this is done with both scope and time.

Mid-Level planning can be done at the quarterly level or the monthly level.

I personally prefer the monthly level, mostly because planning at a monthly level feels natural and works well with our modern Gregorian calendar-influenced rhythms.

Two key considerations when creating a mid-level plan are more detailed estimates and dependencies.

Your estimates don’t have to be super accurate, but a little bit more than ‘back of the napkin’ is helpful. You’ll need to plan out your tasks and projects at the next level of detail than you did in high-level planning to help identify dependencies.

A ‘dependency’ is a component of a project that has to be finished before the next step can be taken. For example, in the mid level plan shown here, the high level plan item ‘keyword research’ breaks down into several discrete activities, with each one being ‘dependent’ on the one that came before it.

A mid-level plan needs to consider dependencies and chronologically order activities accordingly.

Understanding dependencies can be self-evident when you are working on your own. It’s a bit trickier and more important when you are working with others, or have people working for you. If you are dependent on outsourcing certain aspects of production, for example, you want to plan and schedule work so that you aren’t ‘blocked’ or ‘gated’ (to use project management jargon) from completing dependent work if it doesn’t get done.

2 thoughts on “A Little Closer In – Mid Level Planning

  1. Hi Claire,
    Thanks for you comment! I used Illustrator to create this graphic, but that is just for illustration purposes only. I usually use a combination of excel, paper and my mail and calendar program (Outlook) In my next posts I will get into some more detail about tools.

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