Friday, November 9, 2012

Why You MUST Have A "PLAN B".

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Business strategic planners and Project Managers often suffer tunnel vision when it comes to achieving a specified objective or in reaching a mission goal. This focus is necessary to effective leadership and efficiency, but has a probability of failure at critical intervals. At those intervals, it is critical to have a backup plan which is realistically attainable and takes into account adverse contingencies.

An alternative plan is best established at the earliest business or project phase -- it is not, as some believe a negative self-fulfilling prophesy. It is much like a lifeboat, a parachute, or the antivenin in a snake-infested region. The purposes of a contingency plan are:

1) To salvage as much of the asset value of the project, program or business as possible; and

2) To achieve success by some alternative means.

The first priority above is more important than the second [though not to minimize the second one]  because it provides for a "worst case" scenario and mill mitigate exposure and minimize loss.

The second priority is much more like taking a different road to the same glorious destination.

Do not mistake these preparations for the exit strategies that the venture capitalists are always demanding of their investee entrepreneurs. Those are events which are designed to assure a VC of a return of his or her capital investment, plus a handsome ROI - return on investment - (or "recovery of capital at risk") as those of us with risk identification, assessment and containment tend to view investments.

Your Plan B strategy (or strategies at critical junctures in your plan or program) is not a means of maximizing return -- it is a means of either mitigating risk, or of salvaging all that can be salvaged in case of an environmental change or other adverse event that sites right  there, dead center, in your critical path to success.

In closing, be certain that all potentially involved individuals are fully aware of your Plan B (or multiple contingency plans) in order to maximize expediency and to minimize trauma and panic. A good strategic business planner always maps out a course for the best outcome, but makes multiple preparations for the worst case scenario.

Thank you, as always, for reading me.

Douglas E. Castle for The Business And Project Planning And Management Blog, The Mad Marketing Tactics Blog, The CrowdFunding Incubator Blog and the Crowd Funding RSS Feeds Blog.





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