The Thing I Hate About Planning

Everyone needs to feel responsible, not relieved, when planning meetings are over.

A collective sigh of relief at the end of planning sessions predicts disaster.

plans don't work, people do

15 factors for creating great plans:

  1. Try things for awhile. Figure out what does and doesn’t work. Make plans after you’ve actually done something. Planning something you’ve never done is pooled ignorance.
  2. Plans don’t work, people do. Where can your current team take you in the short-term?
  3. Anything that doesn’t create or keep customers is a waste of time.
  4. Learn from people who are succeeding in your sector.
  5. Look into the past while planning for the future. What worked? What have we learned from failure? Planning looks into the future through the lens of the past.
  6. View the future through the lens of current behaviors. Plan accordingly.
  7. Identify behaviors when making short-range plans. What will we actually do to accomplish our objectives?
  8. Set high goals. If you always reach your goals, you didn’t reach high enough.
  9. Acknowledge that long-range plans are vague; short-range specific.
  10. Plan to adapt as you go. Things never go as planned. Course adjustments reflect agility not failure. Make plans anyway.
  11. Follow the energy when making short-range plans. Pour more resources into what’s working than what isn’t.
  12. Explore what you don’t want. “We don’t want…”
  13. Consider dangers when making mid-range plans. What do we need to protect? What needs to be improved?
  14. Determine how and when to evaluate progress. How will we know we’re winning?
  15. Create celebration points. When will we recognize hard work, lessons learned, progress, and great results.

The thing I hate about planning is the feeling that we’re actually doing something. Planning is talking, not doing. If people don’t do things, nothing gets done.

When successful planning meetings are done, everyone gets up with something to do.

What’s important to successful planning?