Planning is a topic near and dear to my heart. When I see major transformations go awry, I immediately wonder how well they planned and gained buy in for what they were trying to achieve. Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at a DHS-sponsored event for Federal information management professionals. Planning was the topic, and the audience was engaged. No one in our industry wants to be on the front page of the Washington Post! There are many approaches to planning ... many that result in the dreaded analysis paralysis. When we do take the time to plan, why does it sometimes not result in better performance? I believe the critical element to planning is collaboration. Ultimately, we have to realize that in most mission and business areas, there are a lot of people who have a lot of opinions. There is never a single individual who is always right, always wrong, or all knowledgeable about any given topic. Why do people come from so many different perspectives? Well, all of these people have different experiences, different responsibilities, and different levels of creativity and ambition. The bottom line: working hard to get the best out of these individuals is key to gaining consensus, and ultimately delivering a better plan and a better product.
The Planning Institute was formed to help foster the standards and methods by which collaborative planning is performed.
We need standard ways of going about problem solving and planning ... common definitions ... a common language ... common steps .... and common expectations for outputs and governance. As the founding sponsor of The Planning Institute, Phase One Consulting Group is committed to its mission. I encourage everyone to go check out the website and get involved. Better approaches to planning = better plans = better change!