Planning is a necessary part of EVERYONE’s work – having a process that works to get plans started and accomplished greatly eases your stress and increases the likelihood of great work being done. The Exponent Leadership Process does that. It Unifies the organization and your planning process to make your team and leaders better. Contact Mike to make this happen.
Plans are statements, at a given point in time, of aspirations and intentions about the future. They must suffuse the whole organization in the present if it is to progress toward the planned goals. – Elliott Jaques
I have noticed unneeded confusion about planning and planning processes. Like all parts of your work, YOUR knowledge and thinking must be part of the plan. No technology or rote process can give you the “correct” plan, but a solid planning process can guide you to the best plan for your team and you.
A plan is a judgment about the best way to go about achieving an intended goal (Jaques 1998)
- Once the plan has been decided, it sets the context for all people who carry out the plan to operate.
- This is why having a process for planning that is known, clear & distinct is necessary.
Two Types of Plans
- The plans you set for yourself. Everyone who works must create some plan of some kind if they are to complete any work at all.
- If you think you operate from NO PLAN then you are fooling yourself! Because you are operating off a flawed plan that you are not aware of.
- Even if your manager has set the context, YOU must set YOUR OWN plan within the context of your managers plan.
- Plans the manager sets for each subordinate.
- The prescribe context (QQT/R, Policies & Procedures, Local Operating Procedures, etc…) within which the subordinate must follow.
- Subordinates MUST make their own personal plans within the delegated context.
The magic of a plan comes from the work and system that is shared. A plan will provide you with helpful information – BUT YOU still have to make your choices to navigate the complexity of the work best.
Two truisms about planning.
- First, planning is a primary part of everyone’s own work. It is not something that can be passed off to planners to do for you. Everyone must plan for themselves, and managers must make their own plans, AND set the context for their team’s plans.
- Second, the nature of planning differs for each position (CEO, EVP, Manager, Supervisor, Lead, Front-Line) both in time-span and in content.
Plans are statements, at a given point in time, of aspirations and intentions about the future. They must suffuse the whole organization in the present if it is to progress toward the planned goals.
Long-Term plans set longevity targets for the future, and they are only practical if they can relate to the present, at every level of the organization, in a planning cascade.
- A Strategic 8 year plan of the Chief Executive Officer must set a clear operating context for the Vice President’s 3 year plan; which must set a clear operating context for the General Manager’s 1.5 year plan; which must set a clear context for the Manager’s 8 month plan; which must set a clear context for the font-lines weekly targeted output.
Jaques in Requisite Organization states, “…about 7 to 8 years forward is the longest period over which we are capable of planning and carrying out finitely budgeted projects.” Beyond the 8 years, the planning becomes more conceptual and less strategic & tactical. This fact puts greater focus on the 5-10 year time span for the planning of many executives.
- Elliott Jaques Requisite Organization; 1989. Page pair 102
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