Planning does not guarantee success. Nothing guarantees success, however good planning reduces the chances of failure.
Appropriate planning, tailor-made to the project or initiative, provides the platform to enable success.
For emergent industries, tailoring planning is particularly relevant. Innovation thought leader Michael Porter recommends scenario-based planning to help anticipate and forecast the future. Identification of a range of possible scenarios and their evolution will help a business recognise the path it is on and then undertake further planning to either shift off the path or capitalise on it. In this way, planning and actions work together towards building sustainable business outcomes.
Success of a business or personal venture is contingent on a series of factors, including:
- An objective plan which identifies and manages risks and opportunities;
- Clear and achievable goals and actions;
- Expertise, focus and capacity to deliver;
- A stable and engaged marketplace;
- A great communication, marketing and engagement plan (along with delivery).
Planning should identify and consider all aspects (internal and external) which may influence or impact delivery of a project or initiative.
It should also design the process and actions to deliver the initiative.
Finally, planning should confirm the project’s positioning in the market place – its identity or brand.
Harvard professor and author of The End of Competitive Advantage Rita Gunther McGrath considers that to retain competitive advantage there should be a constant focus on planning via “continuous reconfiguration”.