This is my favorite quote around planning. Mike is an email colleague. We've never met in person, we've talked on the phone and extensively through email. This quote has been the basis of our extension of Capabilities Based Planning for the Program Planning and Controls practice. I use it every chance I get. It sums up the critical success factor for program improvement as well as the critical missing piece for most project failures.
Without a plan that looks into the future for emerging solutions, you'll simply be one of the bad project management examples the agile folks love to quote.
This in no way means you don't follow the plan, but the plan itself has to adapt to the emerging situation. The very notion that you would not respond to change and update the plan is simply nonsense.
Have a Plan, confirm it's the right plan at periodic points, follow that plan. When there is a change of plans, assess the impact of those changes, and make a new plan.
- Frontier pilots file a flight plan before they leave for Seattle with me on board
- The Broncos have a plan for winning the Super Bowl
- Andy Schleck has a plan for winning the Pro Tour Challenge in 2012
- I have a plan to loose 15 pounds before the end of the summer
- Our children have plans for graduate school
- Our clients have plans for completing on or before a date and at or below a cost for their programs, while provided technically compliant products.
Plans are mandatory. Make one, follow it.
Adapt the Plan to the emerging situation.
Without a Plan you'll never know what DONE looks like.
Ignore that silly advice of respond to change over following the Plan
If you respond without a change in plans you're lost and will not recognize DONE when it arrives.