Overcome Obstacles During Planning

Have you taken on a project and it just didn’t work out? Or has a project bogged down and moved at a snail’s pace,  frustrating everyone involved?  When you look around at the competition, it seems like they don’t have your difficulties, and everything is running smoothly and on time for them. Why is it that you have to work so hard to accomplish so little?

In your dreams, the new project is conceived, planned, and executed flawlessly. Obstacles are nonexistent or easily overcome, and your employees enthusiastically grasp the ideas and run with them. The endeavor is brought to fruition and everyone is proud to be associated with it, and it enhances your business’s reputation and finances.

Projects often fail because they aren’t well planned. Forging ahead with a project before it is well thought out, hoping everything will fall into place, is an invitation for mismanagement. The path to success lies in the opposite direction.

If you want to design a project to work as perfectly as the one in your dreams, you should concentrate your energies on the planning stage. Think about all the potential obstacles in your path and how to remove them.  According to the “Theory of Constraints,” developed by business management authority Eli Goldratt, bottlenecks can be identified on a cause and effect diagram to get to the root of the problems. Then think of three to ten solutions for each bottleneck. With this method, each potential obstacle is brought into a sharper focus, and others can also contribute their ideas.

With careful planning, you can execute a well-run project. You may encounter obstacles, but you will know how to deal with them because you are prepared. So for your next project, put your main efforts into the planning stage and head off those potential obstacles beforehand.

One Response to “Overcome Obstacles During Planning”

  1. Marcel Dreef January 16, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    Completely agreed, TJ! Identifying the bottlenecks in a complex operation is not a trivial task. But by creating structure in your thinking process and by using the cause-and-effect diagram to visualize your reasoning you can make life a lot easier for yourself.

    If your reasoning is sound, then the visualization typically makes it crystal clear where your attention is needed. And if your reasoning is flawed, then the same visualization enables a second pair of eyes to quickly spot the issue and get you back on track. Sometimes you can be that second pair of eyes yourself when you take a fresh perspective at your own work after a break or a good night of sleep.

    Correcting a mistake in reasoning at planning stage is typically way less expensive than correcting that same mistake during execution of the flawed plan. So I fully agree that planning time is time well spent!

Leave a Reply