Make sure you plan for time to plan….

As we celebrate the change of seasons this a good time for us to think about the importance of planning ahead.

This is not the time to suddenly realize that it is time to turn on the heat, and if you suddenly noticed that the night-time temperatures are dropping you will also be aware that the failure to plan ahead is going to cause you some trouble. Residents may not be so understanding when you explain that contractors are just and the heat may not be on for several days.

I am a firm believer in the importance of an annual plan. Each January take the time to look at last years calendar and schedule important events, maintenance and administrative tasks and schedule not only the event itself but a reminder in your new calendar.

The reminder is almost as important as the maintenance schedule itself.

Window washing that should be completed in April should be approved in March, and that means quotes should be collected in February for presentation to the board…Winter mats should be installed in October so collecting quotes in September will ensure you are scheduled well in advance etc.

It is also important to review this plan each month during the year and remind the board about upcoming maintenance during each meeting. This allows the opportunity to get feedback from the board on last years performance and avoid the same mistakes that were made in the past.

The time you spend planning ahead, and then following your plan, will separate you from many reactive managers and give the board confidence in your abilities and knowledge.   You could argue that the difference between great management and “average” managers is organization.

Everyone gets busy but investing some time in a solid plan will help you avoid the hectic, panic during the busy seasons – and you boards and contractors will love you for it….