Business Planning Needs A Military Approach

Planning for most companies is an annual event (Annual Strategic Business Plan) or something that happens when things go wrong, therefore, is seen as a tool to react to problems not to anticipate them.

Business planning and Military Decision-Making... 
The military approach of planning as a continuous process is not only more effective but also necessary for a business.

A business without planning is a derelict, reactive company, consumed by the day-to-day. An organization without priorities is unable to work on what needs to be done. The most important of planning is not the plan, but the planning itself.

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The planning process is critical to decision-making. It allows you to anticipate events (react in advance), establish an action plan, and set goals and priorities for the company. In other words, it provides a guide to get from point A to point B. To set this guide the company must know its starting point: Resources available, customers, competitive advantages and disadvantages, competitors, industry, opportunities and risks in the market, and its major achievements and failures; in order to establish where it wants to go and how to do it. Likewise, when setting goals is easier to focus people's efforts to achieve them.
“In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Why plans are useless?

No matter how good it's your plan, other actors such as your competitors do not follow it. Moreover, it is highly probable that even before applying it; it will no longer be appropriate. In addition, there is always the possibility that things go wrong. That's why the approach to planning as a continuous process used by the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP) is more effective.

The Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP)

The MDMP is a standardized decision-making model, which assists the commander (CEO) and his staff in developing estimates and a plan. Therefore, it integrates independent estimates of functional areas (Sales, logistics, marketing, etc.) with a broader general analysis of the problem from the commander, leading ultimately to effective plans. It also helps them apply thoroughness, clarity, sound judgment, logic, and professional knowledge to reach a decision. The MDMP relies on doctrine, which minimizes the confusion over the meanings of terms, and symbols used in the process.

The advantages:

  1. It allows the rapid integration of new players in the process
  2. It integrates and coordinates efforts while minimizing the risk of overlooking a critical aspect of the operation
  3. It thoroughly examines numerous friendly (company) and enemy (competitor) courses of action
  4. It produces a detailed and clear operation plan
  5. Estimates go on continuously to provide important inputs for the MDMP, even during the execution of the plan. Using the complete MDMP is a time-consuming process. However, in a time-constrained environment, it can be adapted, and it must take into account the products created during the full MDMP unless the inputs of the scenario have substantially changed.
Finally, remember that anticipation, organization, and prior preparation are the keys to success in a time-constrained environment. So get the planning done!

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