-- If You Fail to Plan . . .
"If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail," says I.
"We don't have time to plan, we have to get started," says he.
"Started on what?" says I.
"Started on the work," says he.
"Which work?" says I.
"There's a whole bunch of stuff we know we have to do," says he.
"But with your lean and mean organization, you have more work than resources. Which stuff should they work on today?" says I.
"That's OK. It all has to get done. Start whatever we can," says he.
"But isn't there some stuff that can't be finished without other stuff," says I.
"That's OK, it can still get started. If not, people will be sitting idle. Can't have that," says he.
"But it'll sit half-done, waiting for inputs that may not match what was done, probably leading to rework," says I.
"That's OK. We know how to be flexible. We have to be in this business," says he.
"But rework will add time and effort," says I.
"That's OK. There's always overtime if we need it," says he.
"But even with OT, with all the false starts, un-clear goals, and people jumping willy-nilly from task to task, don't you risk being late against your promises?" says I.
"That's OK. We're used to being late. That's why we always have a fallback plan to deliver less that the full original promise," says he.
"Plan?" says I. "Doh . . ." says I, Homeresquely, with the heel of my hand thumping my forehead..
Think about it . . .
Isn't managing an organization to accomplish a strategy in support of a goal something worth planning? What's your plan? What's your strategy? What's your goal?
©2002, Frank Patrick
|Planning is an unnatural process; it is much more fun to do something. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. - Sir John Harvey-Jones
This is one of a series of columns on improvement, TOC, constraint management, change management, systems thinking, uncommon sense, and whatever else comes into my mind. Suggestions for topics are welcome. - FP, 908-874-8664 or via the contact page of this site.
If you are interested in using these 1/2-page columns for your APICS, ASQ, PMI, or IIE newsletter, let me know through the same channels, and I'll send you the more easily usable MS Word versions.
-- Frank Patrick
The Strategic Constraint and (local) Department Goals
TQM and Constraints
Unconstrained Thinking Index