Planning and failing

If you fail to plan, plan to fail.

I don’t know who said this, but this quote has made a lot of sense to me, since the time I first heard it from my ex-boss. The quote is deceptively simple and yet packs a lot of wisdom in a few words.

Here are some not-so-random thoughts on planning:

  • A plan is somewhat like a map. It tells you where you’re going and if you’re off track. It makes a great deal of sense to have a plan.
  • However, planning is not something that most people do very well, especially in the software industry. I’ve found that asking someone for a plan is like asking them to have their teeth pulled. They resist (and so do I sometimes) and will do it only when push comes to shove.
  • Planning may be considered by some as time wasted as well, especially when you’ve got to start showing results. As in, I don’t have the time to plan.
  • Some people don’t know how to plan their work.
  • I can’t recall one class during my education that’s taught planning. Or estimating for that matter. Maybe that explains the relationship most people have to planning.
  • I planned to say a few more things but they slipped my mind.

PS: Sometimes it’s okay to do unplanned tasks, like write a blog.

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