I was in a conversation today with some folks and we were talking about the Strategic Planning excercises, the actual plans and what we do with them. For some reason it reminded me of a quote which I attributed to Sun Tzu, but upon research tonight realized among others it is attributed to Colin Powel…
"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy"
The reason I thought of it was that the plan is not something that you create, put into powerpoint or word and then look back at for the next year and live by the decisions of yesterday. It is a living document that has to adapt to our changing business, the lessons learned as we start tactically implementing the strategies. Let’s not be lemmings and follow everyone off the cliff.
I was thinking of this, because in the IT world technology changes so rapidly any technology direction you choose can change in a manner that no longer matches your business direction. This does not mean we made a mistake when we wrote our plan. Maybe there was information we were not able to ascertain in the planning process, things have just changed or we have learned that what we thought would work does not.
The challenge is that we all seem to wrap ourselves around the plan and sometimes are not sure or are not able to adapt when the plan no longer is of value.