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10 July 2008

Reader Survey: Planning orientations

For the third Better Projects site survey I asked about planning. Specifically, the question was about how you orient your planning activities.

“Think about your work (project?) plan. Are you focused on activities or outcomes? Be honest now.”

I had 63 responses and they cam back like this;

  • Activities (Process drives consistent quality)   19 (30%)

  • Outcomes (Start with the end in mind)   34 (53%)

  • What plan (I'm adaptive)  10 (15%) 

What Plan?

The 10 responses to what plan are a bit alarming for me!

If this was your response do me a favour – reply to this blog post and tell me why.

My assumption is that you answer was either tongue in cheek, or you really don’t plan your work (and I expect you are more likely in the BA reader pool than the PM audience.

BA’s – you should be planning your work in as much detail as anyone. It’s complicated, and dependent on many external factors. As a result planning is a vital activity to help your work integrate into the overall project schedule and expected outcomes.

Activities versus Outcomes

Well, people...

The research has been done and while at a macro level, process orientation is important, and possibly even a long term indicator of success, the important thing for projects is to focus on outcomes. It’s even one of Stephen Covey’s seven effective habits; ‘Start with the end in mind.’

For further information on this idea take a look at Josh Nakivel's blog.

Now, if you disagree - I'd love to hear your argument for a process over outcome orientation.