Strategic Planning - An Agile Approach
On my way to a meeting the other day, i had an epiphany. In my role within strategic planning, wonder how best sometimes to communicate the importance of good objectives and describe the planning process and measuring effectiveness, I could present a relevant case study.
So, putting it into perspective:
Job - Getting to a Client Meeting
1. Get from point A to point B, ensuring that I arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the actual meeting start time whilst avoiding any accidents
1. I plan my route
2. I use tools such as Google Maps and Maps to determine the best route to take in the most efficient time to meet my objective/s.
3. I ensure that I have earphone plugged in, and can call the client if situations change
4. I ensure I have enough petrol in my tank
5. I listen out on the radio and view news reports prior to my departure, ensuring that there’s no accidents or heavy traffic on the route that I have prepared
Whilst driving (comparing this context to that of a campaign roll out), I start noticing factors out of my control. It starts to rain - heavily… There are erratic drivers who throw caution to the wind in their quest to get to their destination quicker. An accident occurs, causing the right lane to jam up. Someone’s going 60 on an 80 lane, just cruising along.
However, having experience driving day to day allows me to better “steer” my journey in a more efficient manner (you may call this agile thinking approach), understanding how things can change on the fly, and I start taking different courses of action, to ensure that I still meet my objectives. I know that the right lanes aren’t the best in the mornings on my route. The middle lane can get jammed up with people thinking it’s the least used lane. So I drive on the 2nd lane from the right, switching lanes depending on the various “notorious” intersections (safely, and well aware of my surroundings obviously) and continue my journey. I occasionally glance at my GPS to inform me whether I am on track (Distance left + time to arrive).
You win some, you lose some. I on the other hand, beat the system on this occasion and arrived 10 minutes early for my meeting.
If I had simply followed the one set plan, stuck to my route and followed my usual route (regardless of external influences), I would probably have been late.
In campaign planning and implementation, no matter how solid the direction (plan), prepare for the unexpected, and re-steer the direction as necessary to ensure effectiveness of reaching the objectives.