When my kids were younger they participated in vacation bible school at the local church and because of their age I also participated as a teacher, and planner. I was never a director and I saw directors come and go. Some directors were meticulous planners for everyone one and every hour and minute. Others allowed teachers more autonomy and were “loose” planners, some seemed to have no plan at all. In my nostalgia I began to wonder about the directors and planning. Specifically I wondered about How one should plan, When would should plan and why one should plan.
Lets start with the last question first. Why plan? A plan is a detailed proposal for doing something or in more laymen’s terms it is a map. Following a plan should lead us to both lead and lag goals. So why have a map? Well a map provides direction. You could go on a treasure hunt without a map but the world is big and you have a limited amount of time and resources. Planning helps with efficiency, gives you and your team confidence, and reduces risk. So that’s why we should plan.
When should we make a plan? Well if time is a limited resource and a goal needs to be reached in that limited resource that’s when we should plan. A better question maybe when should one not plan? There is quote that I have seen on the sides of campers that reads “All that wander are not lost”. I love that quote because it deals with the art of discovery. Often times discovery is part of plan that does not really require a plan. Plans can come from discovery or exploration. You maybe exploring and learning about something new with no plan at all. Plans are not needed when you are looking for plans or direction.
How do I make a plan? This all depends on what and when you want to accomplish something. If you have a single goal with a timeline than you would create a tight plan. Your plan would be the meticulous one with every hour and every persons lead goals outlined. A plan that involves a lot of learning discovery and exploring will be more loose and grow tighter as you and your team learn more.
Planning is important and it should and will happen. The best thing to do is embrace it and lean into it and also realize that the plan has to be flexible as do you and I
If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to FailBenjamin Franklin