Will your strategy work? Do you have an awesome plan? The truth may be that the better your plan, the more you are going need to develop another plan. A contingency plan, do you have one?
It is true that many small businesses get by without putting pen to paper for a plan. They don’t put data entry to digital document either. They stroll along for years based almost entirely on gut feel.
Sometimes this works, but normally it has some magical limitations. Of course, no one really knows those limitations because the plan is just a feeling, a fairytale, some magic.
Is a personal or organizational strategic plan the solution to become unstuck?
In my opinion, a plan is always a good idea. A very precise and detailed plan certainly helps avoid anything falling through the cracks. Are there problems with a tight plan?
Yes, but when you plan for the unplanned there is a good chance you’ll keep moving in the right direction.
Should you have a backup plan?
There are many reasons to have a contingency plan.
Here are three of my favorite reasons:
- Surprises. Things aren’t always going to go exactly as planned. There is a time to push or force the issue. There is also a time to go with the flow. Surprises have an interesting way of shaping a slightly tweaked direction. A direction that still gets us where we need to be.
- Specifications Change. The specs are the specs in the tightest plan. What if the specs aren’t the specs that are needed? Identification of a want isn’t always the same thing as the need. Fluidity in design should be part of the contingency.
- Missed Deadlines. The metric of time is valuable. Too soon can be nearly as problematic as too late. Along the way both surprises and specification changes may alter the timing. Sometimes the best question is not about, “what if,” it is about, “what we’ll do when.”
Tight, highly detailed plans are a good idea. The best plan almost never happens.
The perfect plan is one that is built with a contingency.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.