The Cost of Poor Planning

Annual and quarterly planning sessions can expensive. Let me illustrate:

  • Based on their salaries, write down the hourly cost of having your executive team in a room together for 2 days.
  • Calculate any travel expenses, meals, meeting spaces, etc involved in bringing the team together. Write this number down, too.
  • If you use a facilitator for planning, write down that expense.

When you add those numbers together, you have an idea of what you are investing each year in an annual planning session. I would guess it’s a significant investment. Now, consider the impact of those planning days.

Just think about one of your top strategic initiatives for the next year. What would it cost you if it doesn’t get done? What’s the potential sales impact? What’s the cost of wasted time and resources working on a strategy that doesn’t work out? Now, that’s just one initiative – you’re probably working on at least 3 important strategies. You can see how the cost of not planning well could easily cost your company thousands of pounds.

The cost of poor planning doesn’t end with the opportunity cost of not implementing a well defined strategic initiative.

Consider these impacts, as well:

  • Lack of strategy and vision will create confusion, lower productivity and decrease employee engagement. Your team needs to know the company’s big picture goals and why the work matters.
  • Lack of sales generating initiatives will cause your growth to plateau. Your competition, who is taking the time to plan and work on strategy, will outpace you.
  • Lack of clear, implementation ready plans will result in miscommunication, failure to align resources and lots of wasted time and effort.
  • Your quarterly implementation plan forms the basis of your weekly meetings. Without a great quarterly plan, you won’t be focused on having the right discussions each week, and your weekly meetings may seem pointless.

When you look at it this way, the investment you are making in planning probably seems small in comparison to the value you are getting.

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