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3.1 READ THE ARTICLE

Plans and Programs

The first step in working out the plans that will turn your dreams into reality is to understand the basic words used in the subject of planning.

A plan is a method of how to achieve something. It consists of the basic actions that must be carried out to improve something or to solve a problem. A plan is usually based on the available resources (money, employees, equipment, facilities, supplies, etc.) and includes smart ideas of how to use them.

In order to get a plan done, it has to be turned into the specific steps and actions needed to accomplish what the plan is supposed to do. This is done by use of a program.

A program is a series of steps in sequence to carry out a plan. A plan has to exist in the person’s mind, whether written or not, before a program can be written.

A step of a program is called a target. A target is an action that has to be done in order to achieve a desired result.

Programs are made up of various types of targets that are coordinated to be done on time. Each of these types of targets is described below.

Major Target

A major target is a broad, general ambition (what one wants to achieve). It may cover a long period of time. Examples of major targets are “to get all machinery and equipment in the company operational” or “to locate a new building for the company at a reasonable cost.”

Primary Targets

Primary targets are the organizational, personnel and communication steps that have to be kept in. If these targets are not achieved, the remaining targets will be hard to do and the program could stop right there.

The first of these primary targets is: SOMEBODY THERE

Then: WORTHWHILE PURPOSE

Then: SOMEBODY TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE AREA OR ACTION

Then: FORM, PATTERN OR STRUCTURE OF THE ORGANIZATION PLANNED WELL

Then: FORM, PATTERN OR STRUCTURE OF THE ORGANIZATION HELD OR REESTABLISHED

Then: ORGANIZATION OPERATING

With the above targets, the program can continue. BUT IF THESE DROP OUT OR ARE NOT SUBSTITUTED FOR, then any targets set after that will be hard to do and may not get done at all.

Primary targets include the following examples:

“Accept the job that one is being assigned to.”

“Read and understand the program you will be doing.”

Vital Targets

A vital target is SOMETHING THAT MUST BE DONE TO OPERATE AT ALL.

To identify the vital targets, an inspection of the area has to be made to find out what is going on and what are the materials, personnel or organization that we have to operate with.

Next we find those points (sometimes WHILE operating) that stop or threaten future successes. These points get turned into targets that usually say that something has to be done or that something should not be done.

These are examples of vital targets:

“Do your own inspecting; don’t take another’s report.”

“Accept no orders from anyone other than your direct senior.”

Conditional Targets

A conditional target is one that is carried out to find out data or if a project can be done or where it can be done, etc.

You’ve seen some people work all their lives to “get rich” or some such thing in order to “tour the world,” but they never make it. Someone else, though, makes a target to “tour the world” and goes directly at it and does it. This type of target is known as a conditional target: If I could just ______, then we could ______ and so accomplish ______. This is all right, of course, until it gets unreal.

There is a whole class of conditional targets that have no IF in them. These are acceptable targets. They have lots of WILLs in them, “We will ______ and then ______.”

Sometimes something suddenly happens that you can quickly take advantage of. This is only “good luck.” You use it and replan quickly when it happens. Good luck is not dependable, so it is not a good idea to count on it as a solution.

A valid conditional target would be this:

“We will go there to see if the area is useful.”

All conditional targets are basically actions of gathering data first and, if it is okay, then going into action.

Operating Targets

An operating target is one that states exactly what the actions are that need to be done. It normally includes a scheduled TIME when it has to be complete so it fits in with other targets.

Examples of operating targets include the following:

“Clean up the classrooms while the students are away on summer break.”

“Train all the staff on the new sales procedures before allowing them to work with customers.”

Production Targets

Production targets are ones that set quantities of things, usually against time.

These are examples of production targets:

“All acceptance letters mailed out to next fall’s students by April 15.”

“Fifty thousand books printed by next month.”

As statistics most easily reflect production, this can cause an organization or activity to become so involved in PRODUCTION TARGETS that it fails to set conditional, operating or primary targets. When this happens, production is liable to collapse for lack of planning stated in other types of targets.

YOU MUST INSPECT AND SURVEY AND GATHER DATA AND SET OPERATING AND PRIMARY TARGETS BEFORE YOU CAN SET PRODUCTION TARGETS.

A usual reason for statistics going down is that primary targets are not done. These go out and nobody notices that this badly affects production. Production depends on other prior targets being kept in.

The following is a concise summary of the various types of targets that make up a program.

Types of Targets

Major Targets

Each is a general ambition (what a person wants to achieve). It may cover a long period of time. Example: “To get all machinery and equipment in the company operational.”

Primary Targets

These are the organizational, personnel and communication steps that have to be kept in. These targets deal with the terminals, communication routes, materials and organizational system. Example: “To put someone in charge of organizing it and have him set remaining primary targets” or “To re-establish the original communication system that has dropped out.”

Vital Targets

These are targets that must be done to operate at all, based on an inspection of the area in which a person is operating.

Conditional Targets

These are targets that are set up as EITHER/OR to find out data or if a project can be done or where or to whom.

Operating Targets

These lay out directions and actions or a schedule of events or timetable.

Production Targets

These set quantities such as statistics.

NOTE: In order to continue, you must complete all previous steps in this course. Your last incomplete step is
NOTE: You had several answers that were incorrect. In order to continue, you should re-read the article and then test your understanding again.