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mike lewis

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PostSubject: long term planning   Fri 05 Oct 2012, 1:39 pm

long term planning

Exercise aimed at formulating a long-term plan, to meet future needs estimated usually by extrapolation of present or known needs. It begins with the current status and charts out a path to the projected status, and generally includes short-term (operational or tactical plans) for achieving interim goals.

How to Plan a Long-Term Project
By Stanley E. Portny

Planning and managing a long-term project presents special challenges. Often the work you perform a year or more in the future depends on the results of the work you do between now and then. Even if you can accurately predict the work you’ll perform later, the farther into the future you plan, the more likely it is that something will change and require you to modify your plans.

When developing a work breakdown structure (WBS) for a long-term project, use a rolling-wave approach, in which you continually refine your plans throughout the life of your project as you discover more about the project and its environment. The rolling-wave approach acknowledges that uncertainties may limit your plan’s initial detail and accuracy, and it encourages you to reflect more accurate information in your plans as soon as you discover it.

Apply the rolling-wave approach to your long-term project by taking the following steps:

Break down the mid-term work into components that take short-terms to complete.

Plan the remainder of the project in less detail, perhaps describing the work in packages you estimate to can be completed in short-term segments.

Revise your initial plan at the end of the projected mid-term to detail your work for the next mid-term in components that can be completed in short-term segments.

Modify any future work as necessary, based on the results of you achieved up to present.

Continue revising your plan in this way throughout the project.

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Planning (also called forethought) is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal. Planning involves the creation and maintenance of a plan.

A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with timing and resources, used to achieve an objective. See also strategy. It is commonly understood as a temporal set of intended actions through which one expects to achieve a goal.

Plans can be formal or informal:

Structured and formal plans, used by multiple people, are more likely to occur in projects, diplomacy, careers, economic development, military campaigns, combat, or in the conduct of other business. In most cases, the absence of a well-laid plan can have adverse effects: for example, a non-robust project plan can cost the organization time and money.
Informal or ad-hoc plans are created by individuals in all of their pursuits.

The most popular ways to describe plans are by their breadth, time frame, and specificity; however, these planning classifications are not independent of one another. For instance, there is a close relationship between the short- and long-term categories and the strategic and operational categories.


The term planning implies the working out of sub-components in some degree of elaborate detail. Broader-brush enunciations of objectives may qualify as metaphorical roadmaps. Planning literally just means the creation of a plan; it can be as simple as making a list. It has acquired a technical meaning, however, to cover the area of government legislation and regulations related to the use of resources.

Planning can refer to the planned use of any and all resources, as in the succession of Five-Year Plans through which the government of the Soviet Union sought to develop the country.


Planners are the professionals that have the requisite training to take or make decisions that will help or balance the society.


The discipline of planning has occupied great minds and theoreticians. Concepts such as top-down planning (as opposed to bottom-up planning) reveal similarities with the systems thinking behind the top-down model.

The subject touches such broad fields as psychology, game theory, communications and information theory, which inform the planning methods that people seek to use and refine; as well as logic and science (i.e. methodological naturalism) which serve as a means of testing different parts of a plan for reliability or consistency.

The specific methods used to create and refine plans depends on who is to make it, who is to put it to use, and what resources are available for the task.

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Planning (also called forethought) is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal.

The name Prometheus derived from the Greek pro (before) + manthano (learn) and the agent suffix -eus, thus meaning "Forethinker". Plato contrasts Prometheus with his dull-witted brother Epimetheus, "Afterthinker". Writing in late antiquity, the Latin commentator Servius explains that Prometheus was so named because he was a man of great foresight (vir prudentissimus), possessing the abstract quality of providentia, the Latin equivalent of Greek promētheia (ἀπὸ τής πρόμηθείας).

As such, planning is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior. This thought process is essential to the creation and refinement of a plan, or integration of it with other plans; that is, it combines forecasting of developments with the preparation of scenarios of how to react to them. An important, albeit often ignored aspect of planning, is the relationship it holds with forecasting. Forecasting can be described as predicting what the future will look like, whereas planning predicts what the future should look like. The counterpart to planning is spontaneous order.

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Dark side of planning

The "dark side of planning" is a term used by planning scholars to distinguish actual planning from ideal planning. The term was coined by Oxford professor Bent Flyvbjerg (1996: 383) based on research of how political power influences rationality in planning (Flyvbjerg 1991, 1998). Flyvbjerg defined the dark side of planning as the real rationalities that planners employ in planning practice, as opposed to the ideal rationalities of the benevolent planners that often inhabit planning textbooks. Yiftachel (1995) similarly talked about a "dark side of modernism" in his studies of how planning is used for control and oppression of minorities. Taken together, and independently of each other, these works introduced the "dark side" as a concept and an empirical phenomenon in planning theory and planning research. Later works have further developed the concept in efforts to better understand what actual planners do when they plan (Allmendinger and Gunder 2005; Flyvbjerg and Richardson 2002; Gunder 2003; Pløger 2001; Roy 2008; Tang 2000; Yiftachel 1998, 2006).

Flyvbjerg's definition of the dark side of planning draws and expands upon Ludwig von Rochau's distinction between politics and Realpolitik (real, practical politics), made famous by Otto von Bismarck and signaling the advent of modern political science. Flyvbjerg (1996) argues that distinguishing between rationality and real rationality is as important for the understanding of planning as distinguishing between politics and Realpolitik is for the understanding of politics. The real rationalities of planners are called "dark" because it turns out that what planners do in actual practice often does not stand the light of day, i.e., actual planning practice often violates generally accepted norms of democracy, efficiency, and equity and thus of planning ethics.
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mike lewis

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PostSubject: Re: long term planning   Fri 05 Oct 2012, 1:54 pm

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Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. In order to determine the direction of the organization, it is necessary to understand its current position and the possible avenues through which it can pursue a particular course of action. Generally, strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions:

"What do we do?"
"For whom do we do it?"
"How do we excel?"

In many organizations, this is viewed as a process for determining where an organization is going over the next year or—more typically—3 to 5 years (long term), although some extend their vision to 20 years.

The key components of 'strategic planning' include an understanding of the firm's vision, mission, values and strategies. (Often a "Vision Statement" and a "Mission Statement" may encapsulate the vision and mission).

Vision: outlines what the organization wants to be, or how it wants the world in which it operates to be (an "idealised" view of the world). It is a long-term view and concentrates on the future.

Mission: Defines the fundamental purpose of an organization or an enterprise, succinctly describing why it exists and what it does to achieve its vision.

Values: Beliefs that are shared among the stakeholders of an organization. Values drive an organization's culture and priorities and provide a framework in which decisions are made.

Strategy: Strategy, narrowly defined, means "the art of the general". - a combination of the ends (goals) for which the firm is striving and the means (policies) by which it is seeking to get there. A strategy is sometimes called a roadmap - which is the path chosen to plow towards the end vision. The most important part of implementing the strategy is ensuring the company is going in the right direction which is towards the end vision.

Organizations sometimes summarize goals and objectives into a mission statement and/or a vision statement. Others begin with a vision and mission and use them to formulate goals and objectives.

Many people mistake the vision statement for the mission statement, and sometimes one is simply used as a longer term version of the other. However they are meant to be quite different, with the vision being a descriptive picture of a desired future state, and the mission being a statement of a business rationale, applicable now as well as in the future. The mission is therefore the means of successfully achieving the vision.

For an organisation's vision and mission to be effective, they must become assimilated into the organization's culture. They should also be assessed internally and externally. The internal assessment should focus on how members inside the organization interpret their mission statement. The external assessment — which includes all of the businesses stakeholders — is valuable since it offers a different perspective. These discrepancies between these two assessments can provide insight into their effectiveness.

A vision statement is a declaration of where you are headed—your future state - to formulate a picture of what your organization's future makeup will be, and where the organization is headed.

Strategic planning process

There are many approaches to strategic planning but typically one of the following approaches is used:

Situation - evaluate the current situation and how it came about.

Target - define goals and/or objectives (sometimes called ideal state)

Path / Proposal - map a possible route to the goals/objectives


Draw - what is the ideal image or the desired end state?

See - what is today's situation? What is the gap from ideal and why?

Think - what specific actions must be taken to close the gap between
today's situation and the ideal state?

Plan - what resources are required to execute the activities?

Tools and approaches

Among the most useful tools for strategic planning is SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). The main objective of this tool is to analyze internal strategic factors, strengths and weaknesses attributed to the organization, and external factors beyond control of the organization such as opportunities and threats.

Other tools include:

Balanced Scorecards, which creates a systematic framework for strategic planning;
Scenario planning, which was originally used in the military and recently used by large corporations to analyze future scenarios.
PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological)
STEER analysis (Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Regulatory factors)
EPISTEL (Environment, Political, Informatic, Social, Technological, Economic and Legal).
ATM Approach (Antecedent Conditions, Target Strategies, Measure Progress and Impact).[2] Once an understanding of the desired endstate is defined, the ATM approach uses Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to understand the threats, barriers, and challenges to achieving the endstate. Not all antecedent conditions identified through RCA are within the direct and immediate control of the organization to change. Therefore, a review of organizational resources, both human and financial, are used to prioritize which antecedent conditions will be targeted. Strategies are then developed to target the prioritized antecedent conditions. Linking strategies to antecedent conditions ensures the organization does not engage in activity traps: feel good activities that will not lead to desired changes in the endstate. Once a strategy is defined then performance measures and indicators are sought to track progress toward and impact on the desired endstate.

Situational analysis

When developing strategies, analysis of the organization and its environment as it is at the moment and how it may develop in the future, is important. The analysis has to be executed at an internal level as well as an external level to identify all opportunities and threats of the external environment as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the organizations.

Goals, objectives and targets

Strategic planning is a very important. It is practiced widely informally and formally. Strategic planning and decision processes should end with objectives and a roadmap of ways to achieve them. The goal of strategic planning mechanisms like formal planning is to increase specificity in operations, especially when long-term and high-stake activities are involved.

One of the core goals when drafting a strategic plan is to develop it in a way that is easily translatable into action plans. Most strategic plans address high level initiatives and overarching goals, but don't get articulated (translated) into day-to-day projects and tasks that will be required to achieve the plan. Terminology or word choice, as well as the level a plan is written, are both examples of easy ways to fail at translating your strategic plan in a way that makes sense and is executable to others. Often, plans are filled with conceptual terms which don't tie into day-to-day realities for the staff expected to carry out the plan.

The following terms have been used in strategic planning: desired end states, plans, policies, goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and actions. Definitions vary, overlap and fail to achieve clarity. The most common of these concepts are specific, time bound statements of intended future results and general and continuing statements of intended future results, which most models refer to as either goals or objectives (sometimes interchangeably).

One model of organizing objectives uses hierarchies. The items listed above may be organized in a hierarchy of means and ends and numbered as follows: Top Rank Objective (TRO), Second Rank Objective, Third Rank Objective, etc. From any rank, the objective in a lower rank answers to the question "How?" and the objective in a higher rank answers to the question "Why?" The exception is the Top Rank Objective (TRO): there is no answer to the "Why?" question. That is how the TRO is defined.

People typically have several goals at the same time. "Goal congruency" refers to how well the goals combine with each other. Does goal A appear compatible with goal B? Do they fit together to form a unified strategy? "Goal hierarchy" consists of the nesting of one or more goals within other goal(s).

One approach recommends having short-term goals, medium-term goals, and long-term goals. In this model, one can expect to attain short-term goals fairly easily: they stand just slightly above one's reach. At the other extreme, long-term goals appear very difficult, almost impossible to attain. Strategic management jargon sometimes refers to "Big Hairy Audacious Goals" (BHAGs) in this context. Using one goal as a stepping-stone to the next involves goal sequencing. A person or group starts by attaining the easy short-term goals, then steps up to the medium-term, then to the long-term goals. Goal sequencing can create a "goal stairway". In an organizational setting, the organization may co-ordinate goals so that they do not conflict with each other. The goals of one part of the organization should mesh compatibly with those of other parts of the organization.

SWOT analysis, PEST analysis, STEER analysis, and EPISTEL

Successful and sustainable transformation efforts require leaders who know how to manage change. At the simplest level, managing change means:

Knowing what you want to accomplish and creating a compelling vision that motivates others
Understand stakeholders and communicating with them early, consistently and often
Managing the varying levels of support and resistance that will inevitably emerge in response to any change
Change Leadership is a skillset that is required throughout any deployment, from planning and executing to sustaining improvements.
Change Leadership is essential for both high level executives and program leaders, who are responsible for setting the vision, communicate the vision and make the changes happen.
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mike lewis

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PostSubject: Re: long term planning   Fri 05 Oct 2012, 2:05 pm

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An enterprise planning system covers the methods of planning for the internal and external factors that affect an enterprise.

These factors generally fall under PESTLE. PESTLE refers to political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors. Regularly addressing PESTLE factors fall under operations management. Meanwhile, addressing any event, opportunity or challenge in any one or many factors for the first time will involve project management.

As opposed to enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise planning systems have broader coverage. Enterprise planning systems address the resources that are available or not available to an enterprise and its ability to produce

Enterprise planning systems will tend to vary and are flexible. These are due to the periodic and adaptive nature of strategy formation. These will also have tactical aspects.

An enterprise planning system will address at least three basic purposes to help the enterprise:



An enterprise will plan for tactical moves for quick reaction to the PESTLE threats that affect its survival.


Meanwhile, an enterprise will plan for longer term strategic actions to address its competition or improve its competitiveness.


Most significantly, an enterprise will plan for using the PESTLE opportunities that are available to it. The profit and benefit motives justify most enterprise planning systems.


A fourth noteworthy purpose for enterprise planning systems is recognizing and assessing vulnerabilities to an enterprise and devising prevention and mitigation approaches as well as management approaches should any problems arise.
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mike lewis

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PostSubject: Re: long term planning   Fri 05 Oct 2012, 2:13 pm

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PEST analysis Political, Economic, Social, and Technological analysis" and describes a framework of macro-environmental factors used in the environmental scanning component of strategic management.

It is a part of the external analysis when conducting a strategic analysis, and gives an overview of the different macroenvironmental factors that an enterprise has to take into consideration.
Quote :

SWOT analysis (alternately SWOT Matrix) is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses/Limitations, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective of the enterprise and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve its objectives.

The aim of any SWOT analysis is to identify the key internal and external factors that are important to achieving the objective.

SWOT analysis groups key pieces of information into two main categories:

Internal factors – The strengths and weaknesses internal to the organization.
External factors – The opportunities and threats presented by the external environment to the organization.

The internal factors may be viewed as strengths or weaknesses depending upon their impact on the organization's objectives. What may represent strengths with respect to one objective may be weaknesses for another objective.
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mike lewis

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PostSubject: Re: long term planning   Fri 05 Oct 2012, 2:42 pm

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Forecasting is the process of making statements about events whose actual outcomes (typically) have not yet been observed.

Risk and uncertainty are central to forecasting and prediction; it is generally considered good practice to indicate the degree of uncertainty attaching to forecasts. In any case, the data must be up to date in order for the forecast to be as accurate as possible.

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Strategic foresight differentiates "futurology" from "futures studies". It arises from the premise that:

The future is not predictable;
The future is not predetermined; and
Future outcomes can be influenced by our choices in the present

Strategic Foresight Group defines foresight as a combination of forecasting with insight. While forecasting requires methodologies, generated by computers or otherwise, insight requires deep understanding of the subject concerned. Foresight is developed by applying forecasting methodology to the insight. Strategic Foresight relates to foresight of strategic issues. Thus, strategic foresight can be developed by scientific study. It is not about intuition or guess work. The difference between strategic foresight and futurology is that strategic foresight provides alternative scenarios for the future. Futurology attempts to provide a definitive picture of the future.

Strategic foresight may be used as part of the corporate foresight in large companies. It is also used within various levels of Government and Not for Profit organisations. Many concepts and tools are also suited to 'personal futures' thinking.

Strategic foresight can be practiced at multiple levels, three different levels being:

Pragmatic foresight - "Carrying out tomorrows' business better"
Progressive foresight - "Going beyond conventional thinking and practices and reformulating processes, products, and services using quite different assumptions"
Civilisational foresight - "Seeks to understand the aspects of the next civilisation - the one that lies beyond the current impasse, the prevailing hegemony of techno/industrial/capitalist interests".

Two approaches to futures studies that are especially focussed at those last two levels of strategic foresight are Critical futures and Integral futures.


Strategic Foresight is the ability to create and maintain a high-quality, coherent and functional forward view, and to use the insights arising in useful organisational ways. For example to detect adverse conditions, guide policy, shape strategy, and to explore new markets, products and services. It represents a fusion of futures methods with those of strategic management (Slaughter (1999), p.287).
Take hold of your future or the future will take hold of you (Patrick Dixon Futurewise publ 2005)

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In futures studies, especially in Europe, the term "foresight" has become widely used to describe activities such as:

critical thinking concerning long-term developments,
debate and effort to create wider participatory democracy,
shaping the future, especially by influencing public policy.

In the last decade, scenario methods, for example, have become widely used in some European countries in policy-making . The FORSOCIETY network brings together national Foresight teams from most European countries, and the European Foresight Monitoring Project is collating material on Foresight activities around the world. In addition, foresight methods are being used more and more in regional planning and decision –making (“regional foresight”).

At the same time, the use of foresight for companies (“corporate foresight”) is becoming more professional and widespread [2][3][4] Corporate foresight is used to support strategic management, identify new business fields[5][6] and increase the innovation capacity of a firm.

Foresight is not the same as futures research or strategic planning. It encompasses a range of approaches that combine the three components mentioned above, which may be recast as:

futures (forecasting, forward thinking, prospectives),

planning (strategic analysis, priority setting), and

networking (participatory, dialogic) tools and orientations.

Much futures research has been rather ivory tower work, but Foresight programmes were designed to influence policy - often R&D policy. Much technology policy had been very elitist; Foresight attempts to go beyond the "usual suspects" and gather widely distributed intelligence. These three lines of work were already common in Francophone futures studies going by the name la prospective. But in the 1990s we began to see what became an explosion of systematic organisation of these methods in large scale TECHNOLOGY FORESIGHT programmes in Europe and more widely. Foresight thus draws on traditions of work in long-range planning and strategic planning, horizontal policymaking and democratic planning, and participatory futures studies - but was also highly influenced by systemic approaches to innovation studies, science and technology policy, and analysis of "critical technologies".

Many of the methods that are commonly associated with Foresight - Delphi surveys, scenario workshops, etc. - derive from the futures field. So does the fact that Foresight is concerned with:

The longer-term - futures that are usually at least 10 years away(though there are some exceptions to this, especially in its use in private business). Since Foresight is action-oriented (the planning link) it will rarely be oriented to perspectives beyond a few decades out (though where decisions like aircraft design, power station construction or other major infrastructural decisions are concerned, then the planning horizon may well be half a century).

Alternative futures: it is helpful to examine alternative paths of development, not just what is currently believed to be most likely or business as usual. Often Foresight will construct multiple scenarios. These may be an interim step on the way to creating what may be known as positive visions, success scenarios, aspirational futures. Sometimes alternative scenarios will be a major part of the output of Foresight work, with the decision about what future to build being left to other mechanisms.

Quote :
The planning horizon is the amount of time an organization will look into the future when preparing a strategic plan.
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PostSubject: Re: long term planning   Fri 05 Oct 2012, 2:57 pm


noun /ˈprävədəns/  /-ˌdens/ 

The protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power
- they found their trust in divine providence to be a source of comfort

God or nature as providing such care
- I live out my life as Providence decrees

Timely preparation for future eventualities
- it was considered a duty to encourage providence

The prudence and care exercised by someone in the management of resources

foresight - forethought - prudence

Prometheus derived from the Greek pro (before) + manthano (learn) and the agent suffix -eus, thus meaning "Forethinker"

The word comes from Latin providentia "foresight, prudence", from pro- "ahead" + videre "to see". The current meaning of the word derives from the sense "knowledge of the future" or omniscience, which Christians believe is an attribute of God.

Master Plan:
A comprehensive or far-reaching plan of action.

Providentialism is a belief that God's will is evident in all occurrences. It can further be described as a belief that the power of God (or Providence) is so complete that humans cannot equal His abilities, or fully understand His plan. Another aspect of Providentialism is the belief that God's plan is beyond the control of humans, and that sometimes this may be expressed in seemingly bad things happening to good people. It may further be understood as a belief that all that occurs is for the greater good.

Providentialism was frequently featured in discussions in European circles seeking to justify Imperialism in the 19th century, on the grounds that the suffering caused by European conquest was justified under the grounds of furthering God's plan and spreading Christianity to distant nations.
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