Failing to plan is planning to fail essay


  1. Why failing to plan really does mean planning to fail
  2. What's the meaning of the phrase 'Failing to plan is planning to fail'?
  3. Fail to Plan/Plan to Fail
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Lack of Executive Support. Technical Incompetence. Incomplete Requirements. Lack of user involvement. Lack of Resources. Unrealistic Expectations.

Why failing to plan really does mean planning to fail

Lace of Executive Support. Lack of Planning. Lack of IT management. Technical Illiteracy.

What's the meaning of the phrase 'Failing to plan is planning to fail'?

Notice in the above three project outcomes, user involvement is listed as the first or second item in each. The researchers studied 24 areas of project management and found that 3 of the 24, if done well, clearly indicated that a project had a high probability of success. Good Planning. The first indicator, Good Planning, requires excellent forward planning, which includes detailed planning of the process implementation stages, task timeliness, fall-back positions, and re-planning. Notice that initial planning is not enough.

Projects often take wrong turns, or initial solutions prove unfounded. The project manager who does not prepare to re-plan, or has not considered and planned fall-back positions when initial plans fail, will often find that the project first stalls, and then fails. We must remember that project management is not a straight-line process, but an iterative process that requires agile rethinking as the known environment changes before your eyes.

Clear Responsibility and Accountability of Team Members. This requires that all team members have a clear understanding of their roles and duties in the project. They must understand how expectations vs.

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  • A good plan saves you time and money.

It is left to the project manager to properly implement the communication of these responsibilities, to provide feedback, and to assure all understand that for which they will be held accountable. Schedule Control. This requires the continual monitoring and measurement of time, milestones, people, and equipment schedules. Properly done schedule control will also give the first hint that initial planning may not be going according to schedule. The same paper finds two attributes that appeared equally for projects that succeeded or failed.

Equal numbers of successful and failed projects used consultants, and the same was true for well-qualified personnel. It is perhaps disappointing that these two attributes did not portend project success. Obviously there are many other variables that hold great weight in determining the ultimate outcome of an IT project. Lastly this same study listed four things that foreshadowed a failed project. These appeared most frequently in a negative context in failed projects.

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  4. The Second A: Allotment.
  5. So at this point we have several lists of things that might indicate project success and others that might indicate project failure. But there is one thing primarily that you must recognize in all of these lists. There are no stock answers, and there is no one list that will guarantee success. IT and IS projects are complex by nature, and each is unique. It is very difficult to plan with complete certainty something that has never before been done. Every single factor in all of these lists is important and must be considered for each project.

    The most difficult part may be prioritizing the factors. Which are most important? Which must be done first?

    Fail to Plan/Plan to Fail

    Hopefully the lists will help you answer these questions. But in each case you must ultimately make the decisions based upon the unique circumstances of your immediate project. His career with Monsanto began back in And 40 years later when I retired, the biggest problem at Monsanto was still the lack of communication. Sure, a company may still succeed, but without good internal and external communication I submit that the cost of success will be much higher than necessary.

    Another consequence is that success often takes much longer than necessary to achieve. Sometimes success never arrives.

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    Lack of good communication can easily turns a corporate strategy, or an IS project, into a modern day Towel of Babel. He was told on his third day that the development team was no longer allowed to speak to anyone from the business community.


    It seems that relations between the two groups had become so bad that communication had come to a complete halt. In fact, negotiations had begun in an attempt to find an acceptable liaison to work between the two groups. This may seem like an extreme example, but this happens in projects. Subtle dysfunction is probably harder to correct because it is more difficult to pinpoint.

    This often makes the problem intractable. Kirksey 3 tells us that one predictor of project success is when communications are kept honest and open between customer and vendor. His major indicator of project failure in this area is when an IS project manager fails to correctly read warning signs that communication is breaking down.

    The result is a missed opportunity to correct the situation before it becomes too late.

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    Wixom 4 argues that User Participation and Team Skills are two of seven imperative implementation factors that determine project success or failure, and that these two are essentially communication skills. These interpersonal abilities include, without exception, interpersonal communication skills.

    Strategic Planning - Why Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

    Who do you know that communicates effectively? Watch them and determine why their communication is effective. Also watch those who do poorly at communicating, and make every effort to avoid their bad habits. It becomes a habit and procrastination exercise. But without execution, planning is like a journey without a destination. And we all know that even Captain Kirk and his Starship Enterprise tried to find a way home, despite being lost in space another space analogy!

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    With this in mind, my Christmas gift to you is this piece of advice: plan, align and execute. If you delete any of these from the equation, add them back in. You may also want to consider experimentation to foster innovation. It is very tempting to try and react to internal or external changes and follow the latest trend. Ask Germans whether their success is built on that approach. Diligent and efficient planning is important to save yourself work and headaches later down the line — and ultimately to achieve success.