Monday, 8 March 2010

37signals: Long-Term Business Planning Is A Fantasy

I’m looking forward to getting hold of Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson’s book ‘Rework’. It’s clear that Jason and David share my thinking on ‘Unplan Your Business’ and some of my ideas on work and business from 'Juggle! Rethink Work, Reclaim Your Life'.

Their company 37signals agrees that organisational obsession with long term planning is futile. Here’s an extract from a great post on the 37signals blog by Matt from last May explaining why:

"Why don’t we just call plans what they really are: guesses. Unless you’re a fortune teller, long-term business planning is a fantasy. There are just too many factors that are out of your hands: market conditions, competitors, customers, the economy, etc. Writing a plan makes you feel in control of things you can’t actually control.
In fact, you might as well change the name of your business plans to business guesses, your financial plans to financial guesses, and your strategic planning to strategic guesses. Do that and you’ll probably start putting a lot less weight into those things".
37signals have created a great little video to promote the book. I love it; it could have been one of ours for ‘Unplan Your Business’! Check it out here:

1 comment:

  1. That might be (partially) true for software projects, as the software industry in still immature and very fluid, contrary to the construction industry (construction project management).

    However, I did predict that the software industry (and in turn software project management) will be mature in 20 years. Let's wait and see if this 'll happen.