Low level planning is your day-to-day work planned out at the granular level, usually by the week, with activities blocked out by the hour. This is the plan that I find most important when it comes to really getting down to brass tacks and working.
A low level plan is where the rubber hits the road in terms of seeing what you have to do this week, today, right now – and doing it.
The example above illustrates one way a low level might be laid out. It illustrates the more granular break down of activities related to the original project item ‘Optimize the content on your site for related keywords and better Google rankings’ we identified in the scope definition process. This project was broken into subsequent activities, including ‘Keyword Research’ in the high level plan and ‘Buy and Read SEO Book’ and ‘Research SEO on web’ in the mid level plan. Now, in this plan, the everyday actionable items of this broad project are laid out against time.
Putting these steps into a low level plan which also captures the everyday context of your life, including day-to-day operations, does two really important things: It shows you how much (or little!) time you actually have to tackle goal-related projects, and it shines a really bright spotlight on how much you are working on your business and not in it.
Because it’s so important, I’m going to spend a couple of posts on this topic with some more examples. To get started here are some rules I try to live by when it comes to low level planning:
- Plan with some sort of calendar tool (this can be paper)
- Plan in ‘Baseline’ activities
- Realistic estimates and metrics are very helpful at this level
- Be specific, and try to plan in ‘dependency free’ chunks
- Look at it every day
- Build in flexibility
- Set it up before or at the beginning of each week
There is a lot to cover here, and it’s going to get a bit more technical, so I’ll dive into more detail in each of these items in upcoming posts.