You are probably familiar with creating project plans to achieve the targets set by your organisation. This means you already have the skills to create an influence plan.
“The main reason why people don’t plan their influence is that it doesn’t occur to them.”
In just the same way that you create a project plan, be very specific about what you want to influence (your deliverable) and then create an influence plan to achieve it. You can use many of the project management disciplines you are probably already familiar with, including risk and issue logs.
It may be difficult to do this because of the ambiguous nature of influence, but don’t let that deter you from taking a logical step-by-step approach to this work — just be ready to adjust your plans as you learn through acting.
How to Create an Influence Plan
- Do everything to crystallise what success looks like — your influencing goal.
- Write down the main steps you need to take towards realising your goal.
- Figure out a logical order and consider the links and dependencies.
- Diarise opportunities when you might meet key people informally
- Keep a log of your progress and review your plans as you move forward.
And remember — people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan!