Planning is an interesting subject to me, hopefully it is to you too.
Having a different perspective over different time periods, and having a (reasonably) firm grasp of what needs to happen when is a basic feature of good management.
An observation, that is readily available to most of us, is that many people get locked into just one horizon when they are planning. If you work in an operational capacity within a business (i.e. you make the day to day stuff happen) then you may well have found yourself looking just a matter of weeks ahead, never finding yourself able to look months ahead instead. Immediate deadlines (such as 'end of month' output tend to do this nicely).
Why would we want to look more than just a few weeks ahead? There are many reasons, including:
- Perhaps you need to review labour levels and need to look at the order books to evaluate this (more labour, overtime, redundancy etc...).
- Perhaps you need to determine when is the right time to launch the next product.
- Perhaps you need to work out when to upgrade a machine in your factory.
Only looking ahead just a few weeks (or even just a few days) can really put the blinkers on, and limit the effectiveness of your management decisions.
You don't need to spend your whole time stuck gazing into the future, but developing a routine to help you change your focus from time to time could be an effective way to move forward.
P.S. If you want some ideas on developing effective routines then download a free sample of 'Sunrise Meetings', available on Kindle, iBooks and for PDF download.
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