Tuesday, September 19, 2023

I've got a plan: nobody cares

It's so damn frustrating!
You spend a lot of time planning, coordinating, evaluating ....
And then it's D-Day, circumstances intervene, and nobody follows the plan 😮 
(Well, they follow bits and pieces, but the plan as such is almost unrecognizable)

That's a few sentences to say what we all know:
No plan survives the first touch with reality
So, if this is all too obvious, what is it you do?
  • The first thing is to have a communication plan in hand before the execution begins so you can touch everyone you need to reliably and quickly. And this part of the plan should be bullet proof
  • The second thing is to know in advance where all the decision makers are going to be and how they are to be reached; and what authorities they have.

  • The third thing is to have supervision or tactical deciders in place where the work is being done to make the minute-to-minute decisions that might save the day. In other words, some decentralization of authority
  • Another thing is to have redundancy built in, as well as time or cost buffers, to be able to override, or fill-in the low spots. In other words, a plan with no margin is really not viable from the git go. 

  • If "it" fails this time, know when you are going to try again. Obviously, "failure" has to be obvious, measurable, without ambiguity, etc.
  • And if "it" fails, have a lessons-learned exercise ready to go.
  • The principle of "calculated risk" should be built-in: "When all matters are considered and weighted by value, the benefit of taking a risk should be (at least) strategically beneficial, even if not tactically beneficial (the battle was lost, but the engagement won the war)

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