Principles learned from the Mars Pathfinder mission.
Adapted from the book, “The Mars Pathfinder Approach to Faster-Better-Cheaper” (Pritchett and Muirhead,1998).
Some of the author’s comments: “In your own pursuit of spectacular results, start out by doing some “deep planning.” Anticipate as best you can. Make your very best guess about how the situation will unfold.
“You should understand right now that your planning is doomed in certain respects. Don’t expect to cover all contingencies, no matter how thorough you’ve been. It’s been said that, ‘No plan survives contact with the enemy.’ A key benefit of good planning is that it mentally prepares you to improvise.”
Even though I plan out my days pretty well, my schedules don’t always follow the script. Perhaps a particular project doesn’t come through or another doesn’t go according to our original plans. So I have to improvise. It usually involves more marketing to try to bring in new business and otherwise use that extra time productively.
What about you? To what extent do your plans go according to schedule, and how often do you have to improvise? What do you do? Please feel free to comment below. I’m interested in reading about your experiences and techniques you use to adapt to the ever-changing environment.
You can read the third column in this series, “Deliberately choose to do things differently,” here.