All Hail The Work Plan

Anyone who’s ever worked in management consulting or contracting or running a small business knows the importance of a Work Plan. So, what is it? How do you create one? And what does it have to with making art?

Let’s tackle each one of these questions…

A Work Plan is just a document that outlines all the steps necessary to complete a project, soup to nuts. It’s a way to keep you and everyone involved organized and on task. This article has a pretty good definition.

There are lots of ways to create one. In our Vs. Studio Producing Workshop, I advise people to just start with pen and paper. Brainstorm and write down every possible task you can think of longhand. Be super specific and granular. Once you’re done with that exercise, you can start organizing tasks into categories, setting deadlines, and delegating responsibilities. A simple Excel spreadsheet will do the trick. This article has a few more ideas.

For anything you’re producing, any art you’re trying to make, use a Work Plan. I highly, highly recommend it. This and a budget are the two most useful tools in your producing arsenal. You will refer to them all the time. They”ll keep you organized and sane. Seeing everything you have to do, when you have to do it by, and who’s responsible for each task, in one document, is tremendously helpful.

All hail the Work Plan! It can be the difference between giving you and your fellow artists a fantastic, meaningful experience or not. And if you have that fantastic experience, you’re more apt to want to do it again and even better the next time.

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