(Note: It feels like business planning season to me. Fall, or almost fall, time to think about next year. So I’m reviewing business planning fundamentals, this week and next, refreshing some of my older posts.)
Business plans are always wrong. That’s because we’re human. Business plans predict the future. We humans suck at predicting the future.
Paradox: nonetheless, planning is vital. Planning means starting with the plan and then tracking, reviewing progress, watching plan vs. actual results, correcting the course without losing sight of the long-term destination.
Planning is a process, like walking or steering, that involves constant corrections.
The truth is that forecasting is hard. Nobody likes forecasting. But one thing harder than forecasting is trying to run a business without a forecast. Plan, connect dots, identify interdependencies, set numerical goals. Then track results, review, and revise.
Good planning is nine parts implementation for every one part strategy.