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Planning versus having a plan

Planning versus having a plan
Photo by Patrick Perkins / Unsplash

Planning is the process of making arrangements for something to happen. In the workplace, planning often entails lists and spreadsheets, with an emphasis on prioritization.

One of the challenges of planning is that even if everything is perfectly stank ranked, they might not make sense together. In software engineering, building an end-to-end system makes much more sense than individual pieces that don't necessarily fit together.

Having a good plan in place is similar to having your own north star. It gives everyone the chance to go on an adventure together, which is much more productive, efficient, and fun. There have only been a few times in my career when I worked on a project that made sense when I looked at the whole. Go Modules in 2019 was one of them, and despite it being one of the hardest years of my work life, it was also one of the most fulfilling. In contrast, I have encountered meticulously organized spreadsheets that don't seem to achieve anything meaningful, even if everything on that list was accomplished.

We're currently in the middle of planning season at work. I've been reflecting on whether what we have is a genuine plan, or simply the result of a planning process. If it's the former, how can I support my team in achieving our goals? If the latter, what is our actual plan going to be?