The 1st Step in Planning is a Quick Cultural Assessment – IMO

IMO Planning, the development of a Plan to be Implemented and Managed has 4 sub-steps, if you will…

Plan Development Has 4 Sub-Steps

IMO. Your view may vary.


In my view, for the Development of a Plan – to be Implemented and Managed – to be successful, is do it – the Planning effort, effectively, efficiently and appropriately.

Effective in that it gets the job done well. Efficient in that it got the job done with minimum resources. And Appropriately to the overt and covert expectations of all of the Stakeholders, taken into consideration, and then balanced as it impacts (or not) the Plan.

Step 1 – Quick Cultural Assessment

Some cultures don’t Plan because they dislike Planning. Most likely had a bad experience with a Plan that didn’t Pan out. Maybe a whole bunch of hoopla for not a lot of Return. Maybe Planning is now seen as a big distraction. Maybe some are working to change that culture, but the CS – Current State is what it is. Not what it is Planned to be.

So that’s your Context. Culturally.

So what experience is there around Plans and Planning, and how conducive are all the key players in any robust Planning effort?


And that insight – into the CS Culture around Plans and Planning – should really impact how you do the following 3 steps. Next Step 2…

Step 2 – Quick Planning to Plan

Don’t just do it – when it comes to planning to plan.

Oh yes, do it, but don’t just just do it.

Deliberately do it. But quickly.

Planning to Plan involves determining who should be involved early, later and only at the end – for approval/ blessing/ acceptance/ resourcing.

In cultures where they don’t plan, don’t like planning, your efforts to Develop Plan may need to be accomplished covertly, totally under anyone’s and everyone’s radar screens.

It’ll be YOUR PLAN baby, yours alone, and nobody elses. Maybe that’s appropriately, even if not ideal.

That’s different than if the culture was all about quick consensus making – for things that actually got done, got implemented.

Don’t confuse the Bum’s Rush with acceptance, or acquiescence, because that would most often be mistaken.


The 5 Ws and the H – come in handy here.

Step 3 – Slow Plan Development

Not that going slow here is the goal. It’s just that here, in Step 3, you need to SLOW Down from the quickness of Steps 1 and 2, and more deliberately do both Steps 3 and 4 before jumping in and “just doing it” – where haste can make waste or lives and limbs could be endangered.

Doing it being: Implement some Plan – that doesn’t really exist, or shouldn’t exist pretending to be a Plan And yes, No Plan is a Plan. Just not a very good plan all too often. It’s the difference between Blink and Think, I think.

Or Slow and Fast Thinking.


Slow down relative to the Quick of Steps 1 and 2.

Step 4 – Slow Plan Communications

If you don’t know already this is a very critical step. Not like the others are not important, they are, but if all their good work of up-front planning doesn’t get adequately communicated – the resulting results – however measured – will most likely be less than they could have been.

Who needs what, when, where, how often by what means and frequency – not forgetting ourselves about THE FORGETTING CURVE – and everything else on the target audiences’ plates… so to speak.


Who are your stakeholders and what do they need, want and wish for?

Stakeholder Hierachy Example 1

Regarding this endeavor, this project, program or transformation?

And please don’t forget: your Stakeholders each have Stakeholders.

It’s much more complex, but along the same lines as, your Customers have Customers.


That’s the basic question – the basic roadblock – and yet it’s the key to dealing with any and all resistance to change that can only be overcome – if it can be overcome – by dealing with the “What’s In It For Me” – for every person in each of the Stakeholder Categories.

That’s the key. Knowing your Stakeholders.

And of course there are many other keys. It’s never quite as simple as we wish it were. Never.



And please don’t think that you can lump people into categories and then over-generalize their needs, wants and wishes.

Your model may vary. That’s to be expected, no?

But hopefully you can subscribe to this notion, regarding Performance, the ultimate goal of all of our improvement efforts…

PC def b3

Then it’s just a matter of putting all of the pieces in place. Using my models, or parts of them, with your models, or parts of them.

Or adjusting a 3rd variable besides yours and mine, it’s the CS- Current State – there in our way to get to some FS – Future State. That’s where we start with our models, yours and mine.

To both Survive and to Strive.

Start with the Baseline of the Current State clearly defined and the Future State defined by that same device… the Baseline… in measurable terms.



That’s my view to share.

And to point out that in the end, unless the Process itself was the sole root cause for what “ailed the enterprise” – we are always going to be dealing with the upstream Enabling Provisioning Systems – call them what you may – when we go to make our fixes to the roots to positively affect the symptoms, that led us to the improvement vehicles, some blend, in order to achieve some worthy enterprise process performance improvement.

At least that’s what I call it.

PC at the Worker Work and Workplace levels

Your model may vary.

As mine does project to project.

These were just some of my starting points.

For Adaptation. To the Context. To be Successful.

Same as it ever was.

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