Plan Do Check Act - Managing Expectations & Influencing Outcomes

2개월 전

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Planning can be a very powerful influence on our everyday life, but there's more to actualizing dreams or influencing what becomes of us (our reality) than making plans. Of course, proper planning helps us to make the very best of decisions; manage resources in the best way possible, keep risk level at a minimum, gain some leverage over what would otherwise have been subjected to gross uncertainties, and not to forget, it helps us have a hold on happenings around us. So, yes! Planning is not a variable we should trivialize because outcomes might as well depend on them.

But, if all we do is plan, then what happens?

A very wise friend whom I so much respected once told me this, "if you wait until stars align, you will never make a move towards the future you desire".



There's no perfect plan!

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Most times, we get overly busy trying to make some perfect plans, but again forgetting that we shouldn't even think to expect perfection, especially from imperfect beings. We are imperfect beings, and a good number of people figured that part out already. Nonetheless, striving to achieve perfection? it happens to almost everybody. This one dose of addiction has deprived many of peace and joy, led so many down the gruesome path of torturing, also leaving countless others afflicted and battered due to outrageous expectations and an unspeakable position of esteem we seem to hold ourselves.

Do not get me wrong, there's absolutely nothing bad expecting so much from oneself in regards to output, but it should never result in some kind of entitlement or obsession. And it does us a lot more good than harm acknowledging our strengths and knowing our weaknesses, and striving to improve on a daily, that aspect of our being. So, yeah! there's no perfect plan. It brews so much peace inside of you knowing that perfection rarely does exist.



Moving Forward Is The Only Way Forward!

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It's also true that so many are in a wrap, in some kind of entanglements they can't seem to get out of, a loop that has them fixed to a particular point in time, and some delusions about plans needing to be perfect for it to work out.

Hey! Hey!! Hey!!!

You'd better start moving, get going, fire up and garner that moment you need to evolve because there's nothing like waiting for the perfect moment. Moments are whatever you make of it. It's all about the action, what you do or don't do. Nobody in the whole wide world has it figured out. Those that seem to do, are just constantly evolving with the times, and that's what living is about.

Go. Go.. Go... Figure it out, but never stop moving!

It will be a very grave mistake trying to figure anything out transfixed to a point. Come on! you have a whole journey ahead of you, one that's unfolding right in front of you. And need I remind you, time is what we don't have, and the very reason why you have to constantly be on the move. I wasn't referring to being in haste, remember "slow and steady can still win races". So, be on the move, and while you have it figured out, you won't be late but right on point.

If all we do is plan, we become nothing but fervent dreamers, however, actions make inventors. Therefore, planning is a good thing, but without implementing or due diligence tracking those plans, it might as well stray.



Plan Do Check Act (PDCA)

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Remember my previous post? where I emphasized planning and the importance of assessing projects by their benefits and costs. Well, in the proper management of projects or our everyday endeavour, PDCA cannot be over-emphasized. PDCA which stands for "Plan" "Do" "Check" "Act" can be a very useful tool in having a firm grip on outcomes and expectations.


Plan


This refers to arranging to avoid catastrophic disappointments due to gross uncertainties. We plan so we don't get caught unaware, and that can be very destabilizing; vibe draining, heart-crushing and at the same time soul-wrenching. So, to avoid the unpleasantness that usually accompanies uncertainty and taking uncalculated risks, we plan.


Do


This is another word to mean "implement". It is equally as important as planning, and it means directing planned resources towards achieving a tangible output. Else, what good is a plan we don't implement?


Check


It means to keep track of a development or implementation process. During implementation, it's possible to meet with some unplanned variables that potentially might affect output. The goal is to track and spot deviations early to exercise control. Know this, planning doesn't end at the planning phase, neither does it end at the implementation phase. At least, not until the right set of deliverables have been achieved. Therefore, the goal of check is to track the progress of implemented plans to ensure we haven't derailed.


Act


This is where you exercise control. In Project Management, we measure outputs periodically against the planned project goals and objectives to prevent deviations or spot deviations as soon as possible and to deploy the right resources to correct the deviations. This way, we can control outputs to a reasonable extent and ensure the success of a process or an endeavour. Failure to do this put projects and endeavours at high risk, and when spotted too late, might result in starting over. This does not only translate to resource wastage but a planned failure, and futility in the endeavour.

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If All We Do Is Plan

If all we do is to plan, we will never make a move towards the future we desire as we simply watch consciously or unconsciously our aspirations wasting away.

Remember, the only way forward is moving forward!

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