Plans LO30303

Date: 06/23/03

Replying to LO30288 --

Andrew <> writes:
>...Question : In your experience of ''human'' affairs, what percentage of
>'plans' work, to the plan ;-) ?

I would say that the number is quite high BUT that includes somewhat
trivial plans such as taking holiday trips, entertaining guests for dinner
as well as more ambitious business plans. In terms of just businesses
plans, the percentage is lower (around 25%). It seems to be a function of
how many assumptions are made that cannot be verified until execution of
the plan.

I spent a few years heading up Business Plans for IBM Canada. While the
number of individual plan elements attained were quite low (luckily as
many over plan as under!), the plan in its essential elements was made
(total revenues, profits) within 10% (i.e. 90% to 110%) each year and
often even in the quarter. I would agree with you that the point of making
plans is not to expect them to be made 100%. It is to direct energies
along the planned lines. Our operating units with a committed plan always
performed better than ones without grass-roots commitment. I view a good
plan as an easy method of reducing decision-making and stress. If I plan
to drive to Seattle (from Vancouver), the number of choices is reduced
than if I just plan to drive south. For example, I can ignore most of the
exits off I5 for the first 2 hours of driving when target is Seattle..

I guess my original question related to the implied notion of
predestination or fatalism in your contention that the future impacts the
present. While there are situations that seem to imply such forces are at
work, such as people surviving situations in which thousands perish, it is
not something I generally subscribe to. Otherwise, we would just hang
around waiting for the future to happen to us.

Am I fairly representing the issue as you see it? Regards... Keith


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