Planning is Everything; Plans are Nothing

This is a famous quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower.

At best, plans are merely best guesses. At their worst, they’re used as whips.

Who had contingencies in their plans this year for:

  • A global pandemic?
  • 100% remote work?
  • Entire industries shutting down?

Thinking through known tasks, dependencies, risks, etc. and preemptive planning for them are essential. That’s the core of any solid business.

But we can’t plan for everything.

Once execution begins, we immediately fail when we hold that plan made months ago as a rigid gold standard that defines all success.

Remember — that “plan” is nothing more than a guess of what we think the future will look like; riddled with a myriad of assumptions.

Embrace regular scope, schedule, or resource changes as your project progresses. These changes in expectations are a sign of a healthy project.

Meeting an arbitrary date set months/years ago at all costs is not success.

Your ability to adapt to change without burning your workforce is.



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Erik Andersen

Erik Andersen

Senior Software Engineer with 10+ years of experience. Also an independent coach, teacher, and public speaker. My opinions are my own