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Eisenhower – On Planning. “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.”

By December 18, 2023January 8th, 2024No Comments

“The pertinent question is not how to do things right but how to find the right things to do, and to concentrate resources and effort on them.”  – Peter Drucker, Author and Educator.

Having oriented yourself, thought about your task, and selected a course of action it’s now time to put pen to paper and write up the plan. Stage 3 of Gasparotto Group’s framework for the Planning and Execution of tasks is PLAN.  Regardless of the purpose, scale, or type of plan, it is important that it is captured and communicated in a systematic approach.

This stage of Gasparotto Group’s framework has four steps:

  1. Complete the Plan: As the plan is being written up here are some items to review and consider:  – Stated assumptions. Can these be validated? – Assigned and implied tasks. Are there additions? – Constraints. Are there any additional constraints? Do we need to adjust the plan? – Timings. List them chronologically. Do we need additional timings? – Logistic and administrative requirements. – Communication requirements. What are the means (devices and applications) and the methods (types of reports and check-ins) that will allow managers and coordinators to track what is occurring? – Supervision requirements. Determine the best mechanism to ensure adequate supervision. – Amplifying task details. Are there any other factors that need consideration?
  2. Develop a Synchronization Matrix: Similar to the Gantt Chart a synchronization matrix illustrates what resource should be doing what, when, and where. In particular, it will identify where and when limited and key resources are needed.
  3. Back-brief: Feedback loops – a key element of a learning organization – are critical at any point of the planning process. Before going firm with the plan it is recommended, perhaps crucial, to take the time at this point to back-brief the key stakeholders and decision-makers vested in the plan and its outcome on the plan’s concept and critical aspects.
  4. Deliver the Plan: Business Plan, Strategic Plan, Operational Plan, Project Plan, Marketing Plan, Financial Plan … the list goes on, but regardless of what it’s referred to delivering a plan to those that need to execute it should be done so in a predictable and consistent format. This format should answer the following questions:
    • What is the situation?
    • What is the mission and concept of operations?
    • Who is on the team and what are their tasks?
    • When does the mission and all related tasks need to be accomplished?
    • What amplifying details are required?
    • What logistics are required?
    • What administration is required?
    • How will the team communicate?
    • How is supervision exercised?

With the completion of Stage 3 – PLAN of Gasparotto Group’s framework for the Planning and Execution the next Stage is to REFINE your plan. This stage will be discussed in the next article in this series.

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.”  – Dwight D. Eisenhower, General & 34th President of the United States