What’s the problem with planning?
Planning would be one of the greatest tools to help you as an individual, team and business achieve strategy, kick goals, serve your customers and create a happy work environment. And that’s just to name a few benefits of planning.
There is a problem with a lack of planning out there in the business world. It never ceases to amaze us, and we constantly question why it is done poorly.
We have our theories as to why planning does not receive the attention it should. It could be:
- It’s not natural for some people to plan – they prefer to ‘wing it and see how we go.’ They also may see planning as restrictive and not allowing flexibility
- Some view planning as not working hard. There could be a view that sitting around and talking about the task or project is not as important as doing it!
- We are so busy and getting everything done in a day, week or month is a struggle, let alone adding planning time to the equation. Planning is just viewed as another thing that consumes time
- People haven’t had good experiences with planning or know how to do it well
There could be many more reasons, but what it boils down to is seeing the value of planning – how it can help you.
Planning can have a huge impact on your success. The trouble is that people aren’t realising what the lack of planning is costing them – in time, conflict, frustrated customers, unproductive team members and the quality of the outcome you are producing.
Here is a list of 7 key business areas that planning helps with:
- Teamwork – Taking the time to sit and define the task, generate ideas, select the best option and determining who is doing what results in a collective approach to a project. It engages team members.
- Communication – Consulting the team on how to approach something brings clarity to the task. Once this is clear, further planning helps with everyone understanding who is doing what and by when.
- Reducing rework and wastage of time – Ever been in a situation where you just jumped into action to get the project or job done? Without thinking things through you may not have come up with the best plan of attack and found yourself running around doing things that aren’t the best option. This results in things taking longer because you haven’t thought it through. Classic waste of time! Then you need to start again or re-visit things which takes more time again.
- Reducing conflict – With limited planning, team members cross over each other by doubling up which results in frustration and then conflict. This can also create confusion for people such as your customers.
- Working smarter not harder – Limited planning can result in lots of running around, people being reactive and making mistakes. Time spent at the front planning helps you choose the most effective option in relation to a logical approach. We love the saying ’80% planning 20% doing.’ Planning at the front conserves energy and allows smooth execution.
- A quality outcome – Rushing into action means you haven’t considered options. Taking a little bit of time to understand the task at hand and the outcomes and/or to determine the goal, helps you to then think through the alternatives and determine the best option to meet that outcomes. This approach is guaranteed to give a lot better outcome than a rushed decision on the run.
- Risk Management – Planning helps to consider where things could go wrong and develop contingencies.
Planning is an absolute must. We just don’t see enough of it! Think about it. If you refer to any great achievements in life, sport, the arts, business – I bet it didn’t just happen by chance, good luck or with limited planning. There would have been a robust plan to chart the direction and to guide the actions of the individuals and team members.
Here is a final comment about the impact of planning by our client Amanda Kenafake:
‘When approaching projects and trying to change things in our business, we used to take a ‘let’s just do it’ approach.’ We used to struggle with planning even when we first started working with SeeChange, but they have helped us to break those habits. Stop and Plan!
When you stop and think about how much time you actually waste by having a go at something, it’s not working, you go back and revisit – you waste so much time.
Thanks to SeeChange, to this day it’s now normal for us to say ‘Let’s just stop, action learn, aim and go again.’ Whilst at the time it can seem like it is going to be a longer process, the full implementation, buy in and engagement of the change happened much faster than you expect. You are actually saving time”
CEO, Power Tynan, Toowoomba