Planning Needs to Be Right Sized for Your Organization

Over the last several years, planning has taken a bad rap in the startup world. Most of the frustration occurs when first time entrepreneurs try taking the planning techniques used back in their banking, consulting or military days over to a 2 person company. What was true back in September, after more testing is no longer relevant in November.

Match the right planning techniques and tools to your organization.

As pictured on the left often strategic leaders will hand wave their way through a plan with little thought. As we found out in Iraq, two slides are not going to layout the complicated political, religious and economic forces needed to be factored into rebuilding a country of 25 million people. At the other end of the spectrum, a 30 page operation orders to do a simple 5 mile road march is a complete waste of time.

Planning should look like the second graph. The bigger your organization or dollar spend the more time needed at the strategic level to issue clear guidance so resources are not wasted. A six page document found at the conference room table in Jeff Bezos offices needs to be turned into a couple of sentences of instruction to the temp worker sending orders in the warehouse.

At the two man shop you need to start with a one page Lean Startup Canvas so you end up with a one sentence description of your business.