Want success in a venture? Don’t start with planning

A Veracle is our perspective or our thought on subjects that are dear to our hearts and vital to your business. We find fresh ideas on any topic exhilarating because every significant impact and every disruptive change in our world has begun with a novel, simple speck of a thought. However, it is essential that every such viewpoint is passionately discussed, fiercely debated, pointedly questioned, and judiciously accepted only with strong watertight evidence. That is why we would love your comments, questions, arguments, counterarguments, and anything else that challenges our thinking and keeps us on the edge. Your response motivates us!


Want success in a venture? Don’t start with planning

Veravizion No Comment

If you check out project success rates, you will be in for a rude shock. A significant percentage of project ventures fail. By conservative estimates, 39% of all projects fail at some point. KPMG puts the estimate at 70%. It’s like, every 2 out of 3 projects fail.

Often, the roots of failure lie in the project planning, or the lack thereof.

Why is the failure rate so high despite availability of so many tools, talents, and trainings?

Clearly, something is wrong.

Most projects follow some variant of the renowned PDCA – Plan -> Do -> Check -> Act – cycle for project planning.

And here is the problem: They start with planning.

But, planning is not the first step of good planning. Tracking is that first step.

Let me explain.

A project objective entails us going from our current position to a desired new position.

For example, a weight loss project involves someone going from 110Kgs to 70Kgs; or your business growth project requires you going from $5Mn to $50Mn.

Planning helps devise the path to go from the current position to the desired new position. Now, the path will take you to the desired position only if the planning is correct.

And the planning will be correct only if it is based on facts, and not on assumptions.

This is where tracking comes in.

Tracking is collecting facts by measuring everything about the current position. Tracking helps us build a comprehensive understanding of all past actions and behaviours (in a person, project, or business) that led it to its current position. This deep understanding helps us plan the right actions which we can practically take to reach the desired position.

Planning without tracking leads to incorrect planning, leading to suboptimal results and project failure.

So, for someone wanting to go from 110kgs to 70kgs, tracking the person’s behaviour helps understand their current position of 110kgs – the person’s body type, eating habits, working schedules, sleeping patterns, propensity to exercise (or not), belief in discipline, and in general the lifestyle.

[Since gym-instructors rarely track all this BEFORE starting the gym routines, it seldom* works.]

Likewise, for a business aiming to grow revenues from $5Mn to $50Mn, tracking the business helps understand its current position of $5Mn – who the customers are, what they buy, why they buy, when they buy, their buying habits, and pretty much everything about the business.

That’s why, tracking must be the first step of any project venture, before any planning.

The initial tracking provides factual inputs to devise the proper plan – the right path – to reach the desired position.

Once a venture starts tracking everything required to prepare the plan, the plan will be real, and executable. It will solve both the planning and execution problems.

Here is one case study.

One of my friends had migraine for many years. It was extremely severe – high frequency, high intensity kinds. In his words, “it would be as if someone is pounding Thor’s Mjölnir continuously on one side of my head, for hours, without break.”

He tried a lot of things, without any substantial results.

I suggested him the above approach. He effort- and time-tracked his entire days – EVERYTHING – for many weeks. Afterwards, we analysed the data. We gathered significant insights to plan the right actions to get rid of his migraine. He is now a relieved person.

In sum, if you want to succeed in your venture, don’t start with planning. Start with tracking instead.

*  More than 80% people who have gym membership do not use the gym because it doesn’t seem to benefit them. Only about 18% of members actually went to the gym consistently.

Related posts:

<– Fields Medal, Open Problem, and Business Decisions

Embrace tracking to avoid unpleasant surprises ->

Cover Photo courtesy: Simplilearn

If you liked reading this article, then please subscribe to our blog – Veracles. That way, you can receive interesting insights in email.

Also, please do follow Veravizion on LinkedInTwitter or Facebook to receive easy updates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Viewed Veracles

Schedule Your Complimentary Session with us Today!

We promise you will come away with insights on utilizing your business data productively and cost-effectively. This session will be free of charge and there is no obligation.