January 27, 2014   by

WRITE A PLAN FOR YOUR CHAMAMost successful investment groups use a good plan to achieve their goals.  Without a plan, you are likely to lose the plot at some point.  Thus, planning is one of the most important project management and time management techniques. Planning is preparing a sequence of action steps
to achieve some specific goal. If you do it effectively, you can reduce much the necessary time and effort of achieving the goal.

A plan is like a map. When following a plan, you can always see how much you have progressed towards your investment goal and how far you are from your destination. Knowing where you are is essential for making good decisions on where to go or what to do next.

One more reason why you need planning is again the 80/20 Rule. It is a well known fact
that for unplanned activities 80 percent of the effort gives less than 20 percent of the valuable outcome. You either spend much Chama time in meetings deciding what to do next, or you are taking many unnecessary, unfocused, and inefficient steps, wasting members’ time and energy.

Planning is also crucial for meeting the Chama needs during each action step with members’ time, money, or other resources. With careful planning you often can see if at some point you are likely to face a problem. It is much easier to adjust your plan to avoid or smoothen a coming crisis, rather than to deal with the crisis when it comes unexpectedly.

For proper planning, what you need is an action plan.  As a Chama, you must have an action plan of what you want to do.  Thus, every year, it is a good idea to get the Chama together and come up with an action plan to achieve a particular goal or outcome.  Here are some steps to help you.

Clarify your goal

Can you get a visual picture of the expected outcome? For example if your main investment goal is to invest in rental property. How can you see if you have reached your destination? What makes your goal measurable? What constraints do you have, like the limits on time, money, or other resources.

Write a list of actions
Write down all actions you may need to take to achieve your goal. At this step focus on generating and writing as many different options and ideas as possible. Take a sheet of paper and write more and more ideas, just as they come to your minds. While you are doing this, try not to judge or analyze.  Once you are done with writing down your plan, take the paper round and ensure every member has looked at it and understand the overall Chama plan.  Afterwards the secretary can file it away for future reference.

 Analyze, prioritize, and discard

Look at your list of actions. What are the absolutely necessary and effective steps to achieve your goal? Mark them. After that, what action items can be dropped from the plan without significant consequences for the outcome. Cross them out.

Organize your list into a plan

Decide on the order of your action steps. Start from looking at your marked key actions. For each action, what other steps should be completed before that action? Rearrange your actions and ideas into a sequence of ordered action steps. Finally, look at your plan once again. Are there any ways to simplify it even more?

 Keep an eye on the plan

Monitor the execution of your plan and review the plan regularly. During Chama meetings discuss how much have you progressed towards your goal by now? What new information you have got? Use this information to further adjust and optimize your plan in order to achieve your investment goals.

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This post was written by Chamasoft

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