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The Reality of 'Stuff Happens'

One of the comments I hear time and time again is 'but our business is different'.... If you are making changes in your business then I guess it is likely that you have heard this phrase before when trying to introduce new methods of working. I spend a lot of time helping businesses develop fast and effective ways to plan day to day operations. A little planning can go a long way, but this again is a topic that raises contention with many people.

The sketch below is my interpretation of the planning dilemma.

I agree with people when they state that unforeseen issues will still arise, they will! That's not a good reason to not plan your business operations however. I also feel that most of our issues stem back to poor planning / poor systems and don't just appear 'out of the blue'.

The point is, however, that you can greatly reduce the level of firefighting that needs to take place inside your business if you put the right kind of planning into action.

On the sketch there are two extreme points; utopia and melt down. Most businesses won't reach either point, but the two left hand reference points ('no planning' and 'good planning') are realistic.

So, the question I have for you is this: how effective is your planning, and are you pro-actively attempting to lower your level on the 'stuff happens' indicator?

You may never reach the absolute bottom of this arbitrary gauge, businesses change too often, but there is a massive difference between operating near the top of this gauge and near the bottom. Simple yet effective planning mechanisms / routines is the path for many businesses to get out of  chaos and into smoother day to day operations.



Giles Johnston
...fixing MRP systems and re-engineering business processes