Why Plans Fail

There are several other reasons why business managers don’t plan:

  • Traditional business plans are too complex
  • Traditional business planning fails to address many of the current issues in our business
  • They often only focus on the future
  • Traditional business planning assumes that management will develop and implement the plan
  • Traditional business plans are too inflexible to be of any use
  • (How can a 100 page document be reworked quickly to meet changing market conditions?)
  • Traditionally business plan usually doesn’t provide a mechanism to prioritise the key issues
  • how do you can determine which issues are to be dealt with firts
Are these some of the reasons why you haven’t developed a plan for the future of your business?
For a Business Improvement Plan to be useful, I believe it must:
  • Be simple and easy to adjust
  • Be flexible
  • Maximise our change potential
  • Be based on Best Practice tools and techniques
  • Allow you to prioritise your activities
  • Involve your whole team in development and implementation
  • Include problem solving routines to develop action plans
Why don’t traditional plans meet this criteria?
In many cases, the business planning format has been adapted to meet the needs of advisers, financiers (bankers), government agencies providing assistance and accountants. For these external advisers, the Business Plan provides evidence that the Manager/Owner has thought through all the issues and the plan provides a comprehensive overview of the business.
However, a traditional business plan often fails to meet the needs of the Business Manager and his team because it has been designed to meet external rather than internal needs.
Dont get me wrong there are plenty of times when a traditional business plan is required and is warranted. Examples would include: new business start-ups, taking over an existing business, extensive business expansion, introduction of new products lines, major capital expenditure, etc.
Feedback from my clients is that for many businesses, developing a traditional business plan is time consuming and appears to be an insurmountable hurdle that Managers will only attempt when they are pressured to by outside forces like the Bank.
This is a great shame because as we discussed above having a great plan with vision is one of the key elements of maximising your change potential.
So is there a better way? YES! The One Page Plan.
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