“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe.”

Abraham Lincoln

The biggest value in planning, is the planning itself, not the resulting plan. It is an ongoing, cross-functional process that builds the team, as much as it builds the plan, and it includes a full-circle loop with results feeding back into future planning.

Companies gain:

  • A common understanding of the companies strategy, resources tactics and status.
  • Teams that are not handed a plan, but rather have participated in building the plan and analyzing its results. They therefore move beyond “task-doers” into self-sufficient action-makers because they have the information they need.
  • A process built with complete expectation that the plan WILL change.
  • The ability to tie everything together with realistic human and financial resources.
  • Seamless on-boarding of new team members and vendors.
  • Dramatic reduction in the number of fire-drills; And even the fire-drills themselves are not disruptive.

High level strategy is usually known in a small company. And daily tactics are easy enough to accomplish, but what is usually missing is tying the two together with solid operational planning. The process is simple, as long as you right-size it and make it a consistent part of your activity.

Once the plan is in motion, communicate it often, refer to it constantly, and challenge each other to either stick within the plan, or change the plan. The plan is also tied directly to results. The results are fed back into the machine to improve the plan going forward.