The Shift to Continuous Planning: A Game Changer for Executive Business Leaders
Moving Beyond the Cage Fight of Big Room Planning
In the world of business, the concept of planning is quite familiar, but how we approach it can make a big difference. Traditional room planning often feels like a finite game, where different factions battle it out to see which initiatives get prioritized. In contrast, continuous planning offers a more sustainable, inclusive and collaborative approach.
Imagine this scenario: Fifty people from the business are engaged in a high-stakes competition to see which twelve initiatives get planned. This kind of prioritization planning is a finite game. But let's go a layer deeper. What happens next? With one particular client, the move is on to continuous planning. Success in this context means never having to go through the finite game for hundreds of initiatives again. The aim is for this to be the last one-off build, and for continuous planning to prevail from then on. In this context, continuous planning is seen as an infinite game.
The key to successful continuous planning lies in several steps:
Establish a single system of truth: This system should be understood and accepted by everyone in the organization.
Create a comprehensive business demand: This helps to ensure that all business needs are taken into account when planning.
Use a common currency for estimating: This helps provide a clear and shared understanding of the resources required to execute each initiative.
Account for business as usual and change capacity: This ensures that the day-to-day running of the business is not compromised by new initiatives.
When these elements are in place, the business can engage in informed discussions about what to do, identify system constraints and work out how to deliver within these constraints. This collaborative approach empowers and engages the business, shifting the focus from a battle for resources to a shared goal of delivering value.
While big room planning might initially seem exciting, it often devolves into a cage fight. It can be a good learning tool and a way to create connections within the company, but after a few iterations, its limitations become evident. On the other hand, continuous planning loops enable ongoing adjustments and improvements, making them a more sustainable and effective approach.
Remember, continuous planning is an infinite game, a constant process of improvement and adaptation. By adopting this mindset, executive business leaders can foster a more collaborative, efficient, and successful organization.
Five Key Takeaways:
Traditional room planning often feels like a finite game, leading to competition rather than collaboration.
Continuous planning is an infinite game, creating a more sustainable and collaborative approach to business planning.
Key steps for successful continuous planning include establishing a single system of truth, creating comprehensive business demand, using a common currency for estimating, and accounting for business as usual and change capacity.
Continuous planning allows businesses to identify system constraints and work out how to deliver within these constraints.
Continuous planning loops enable ongoing adjustments and improvements, making them a more efficient and effective approach.
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Listen here to a great podcast on this. Evolving to Continuous Planning: Moving Beyond the Cage Fight of Big Room Planning
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