ProPlanr is proud to announce the completion of the Founder Institute program in Sacramento California. Last month January 2018, ProPlanr was one of seven companies to graduate from the four-month long accelerator. Over two hundred companies applied and twenty-two were accepted into the rigorous and intense program.
The Founder Institute is an incubator headquartered in Silicon Valley with over sixty chapters all over the world. We celebrated with our fellow seven final cohorts, directors, co-directors, mentors, friends and family.
One of the most frequently asked question we received while at Founder Institute was; “How is ProPlanr different from all the other task management tools out there and how does it actually improve the lives of your customers?”
We’ve given this question a lot of thought and want to share our answer with you here in this blog post.
Every organization needs to plan, right? Unless, of course they want to wing it or shoot from the hip, which is a recipe for frustration and failure. “I just want to waste a lot of time, money, and resources,” said no one ever.
Think of a plan as a roadmap or blueprint for getting things done in the most efficient way.
You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, right? Or, go on a long road trip without a GPS. So, when thinking about the results or outcome you want – whether it be in your personal life or business, it is best to have a plan to guide your decisions and priorities.
Below is a small list of sample titled plans and tasks for any business or organization:
marketing – review ad campaign for product launch
hiring – document skill set needed for ideal IT candidate
exit strategy – conduct nationwide search to replace V.P. of marketing
event – call on prospective sponsors
sales – follow up with leads from marketing campaign
technology – implement new protocols for IT department
strategic – schedule board retreat meeting
diversity & inclusion – hire a D&I facilitator for company training
on boarding – identify key metrics for a successful on boarding experience for new members/customers
Not every intended outcome (goal) needs a plan and not every plan needs a task assigned to it.
Depending on the goal, plans can range from extremely complex to the very simple. For example, building a bridge requires a heavy construction planning and project management system with gantt charts, scheduling feature and detailed tasks. But, a checklist of grocery items does not.
So, what differentiates ProPlanr from other task management systems? The integration of plans and tasks in one centralized place.
Many plans are usually built in a Word or Google document, which then require uploading (inefficient and a waste of time) into a completely different system (task management tool) to be implemented. This is a fragmented workflow and quite frankly, it is old school and that is painful. Hey, nothing wrong with old school when it comes to some things like vinyl records or vintage cars.
But, using multiple systems to get things done is unproductive and a waste of time. This kills profitability and unprofitable companies tend to go out of business – pronto.
Introducing ProPlanr, a much simpler way to get work done.
By integrating plans with tasks in one centralized place, ProPlanr eliminates the hassle of using multiple systems in your workflow.
Below are sample titled plans that some of our beta testers have built with ProPlanr:
Pictured: Left is Valerie Sindal, Chief Strategist & Business Development Director at Wonder Women Tech Foundation. Middle is ProPlanr co-founder, Brenda Tello Horton. Right is Lisa Mae Brunson, founder of Wonder Women Tech Foundation.
It means that as a co-founder of ProPlanr, I am immersed in a four month long incubator for tech startups from September through December 2017.
Founder Institute is headquartered in Silicon Valley and has sixty chapters all over the world. It is a world renown accelerator for entrepreneurs who are working on a startup. The program is known for launching companies like Udemy (the popular online education site).
Meeting my fellow cohorts, directors, and mentors at Founder Institute for the first time.
I made the decision to accept the Fellowship to Founder Institute for several reasons:
It has a stellar reputation for helping entrepreneurs launch their companies.
Working on a software startup can get lonely at times. Working together with fellow cohorts takes care of that problem. It truly is an honor to be working side by side with other innovators and creators.
It’s not everyday a global organization with massive resources offers you a Fellowship to participate in their program – and the timing was perfect given where we are in the development of ProPlanr.
So where are we exactly with ProPlanr? As of this writing, we are in public beta (individual version). Our goal is to release the team version by the first quarter of 2018.
Our Decision To Build ProPlanr
As business planning consultants and strategists, we are passionate about helping teams achieve their goals. However, we kept running into the same problem each time we worked with our consulting clients – there were no simple, yet powerful collaboration planning and task management tools to build and implement plans. Whether it was a strategic plan for a non-profit or an annual business plan or marketing for a small business, we kept experiencing the same problems – fragmented and disorganized workflows between plans and tasks.
In addition, documents would get misplaced by a team member or worse – lost. Can you see how this kills productivity? But the biggest problem was that there were no elegant and simple systems that streamlined a cohesive workflow between plans and tasks.
It was frustrating!
After many years of struggling with this problem, we decided to build a better solution. Enter ProPlanr idea – a platform to help teams organize all their plans and tasks in one system. Fast-forward to today, we are focused on making the process of planning and implementing those plans easy for everyone with ProPlanr.
One thing I know for certain is that no startup or company is successful without the input and feedback of customers – and that’s where you come in. With your help, we are more likely to succeed. But we can’t do this alone. We need your help.
Planning is one of the most critical functions of your business.
It entails setting specific organizational goals and establishing the most practical means to achieve those goals. In the absence of planning, all the activities of a business are meaningless.
Without a plan, your organization has no sense of direction, no metric to measure success, and no timeline to achieve goals.
Planning is essential to the success of your company. Due to uncertainties and a constantly changing business environment, planning helps you be proactive rather than reactive in your business.
Planning provides a compass for your company’s objectives. It’s an important process that guides a business’s day-to-day decisions, facilitates task management, evaluates progress and changing approaches when moving forward.
Here are 7 reasons why planning is important to your business.
1. Increases efficiency
All organizations, large and small, have limited resources. Planning ensures all the available resources within a business are optimally utilized. This reduces waste of resources and also avoids their duplication or redundancy. Planning aims at giving the highest returns at the lowest possible cost. Productivity is maximized and resources are not wasted on projects with little chances of success. This increases overall efficiency of an organization.
2. Brings an integrated approach
Planning brings together various departments of an organization. Traditionally, each department will make plans to fit their specific needs within the same organization. The problem is that most plans are built in silos within different departments and lack an integrated and fluid approach to decision-making. ProPlanr offers a holistic approach which ensures unity through collaboration, transparency through sharing, and efficient work-flow through an organized platform.
3. Plays a critical role in decision making
A good plan clearly details various activities and objectives of a business and gives a timeframe within which they should be achieved. A good plan makes clear what the future holds for an organization and its ultimate goals. The ultimate goal of an organization is reached through planning. Planning makes the process of decision making easy and more to the point.
4. Reduces risks of uncertainty
Managing risk is essential to an organization’s success. The future of a business in today’s economic and competitive environment is quite uncertain. Unfavorable unforeseen events must be tackled quickly to avoid negative financial consequences from such events becoming severe. Planning encourages the development of “what-if” scenarios to allow leaders and key stakeholders to envision possible risk factors and come up with counteractive contingency plans. With planning, possible future changes are anticipated and various strategies are planned such that the risk of future uncertainties is minimized.
5. Enhances flexibility
This is especially important for a newly formed organization. Planning gives startups the flexibility to adjust their objectives if any unseen events happen.
6. Provides team building and direction
A plan provides context and a reference point for the team members who are implementing the plan. When team members understand why they are working on a project, it empowers them to do their best work. A good plan defines the tasks and objectives of an organization in simple and clear words. This gives all team members direction and motivation towards executing the plan through task management. In addition, it fosters team building and cooperation among various departments of an organization. When a plan is developed and communicated to the members, every person gets a good understanding of their responsibilities, and how they should cooperate with other areas of the organization in order to complete the assigned tasks. This facilitates proper work-flow.
7. Better position for success
Developing a plan is a huge step towards achieving success. Planning will drive your brand or product to better success and a better position in the market. With proper planning, any of your goals can have more chances of success because it provides a roadmap or a blueprint to getting things done.
The importance of planning in your business cannot be over-emphasized. Be it starting a small business, managing a department within a large organization, or working in a startup , planning is the most fundamental tool you can use to achieve success.
Overall, planning is crucial to an organization as it ensures efficient work-flow, productive use of time, and prepares the organization for a desired outcome.