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Welcome to PlanningSkills.COM

This website focuses on a wide variety of topics related to organization and individual planning situations. The primary focus is business planning.

Planning is an anticipatory decision making process that involves situation analysis, forecasting outcomes and events, evaluating alternative courses of action, anticipating consequences and considering implementation issues and contingencies. Planning often begins with asking one or more questions, for example: What if ...? Could we ...? Do we ...? Is it possible...? How should we respond ...? How can we ...? Is it feasible to ...?

In general, planning is a proactive process that is intended to help individuals, groups and organizations achieve performance objectives.

Featured Glossary Term


Any global, regional, or local natural or human-caused event or business interruption that runs the risk of (1) escalating in intensity, (2) adversely impacting shareholder value or the organizationís financial position, (3) causing harm to people or damage to property or the environment, (4) falling under close media or government scrutiny, (5) interfering with normal operations and wasting significant management time and/or financial resources, (6) adversely affecting employee morale, or (7) jeopardizing the organizationís reputation, products, or officers, and therefore negatively impacting its future.

Featured Planning Tip

Shape situations

A situation is the set of circumstances in which one finds oneself. A situation is the setting in which strategic decisions occur. We may be managing a dominant product company in a stable environment or a multibusiness firm in a turbulent financial environment. How we define and explain our situation influences our thinking about our strategic position. We can shape our situation by improving our understanding and taking subtle actions to create favorable circumstances.

Shaping a situation means taking small actions that change as subtlely as possible circumstances or factors in a situation. For example, if the locations of customers have changed significantly, changing sales territories may be a small, subtle intervention with major favorable results. Taking this action following a resignation or retirement may be an easy, subtle strategic intervention to realign marketing efforts.

Subtle actions are difficult to detect and yet may have major consequences.

Military strategist John Boyd asks "What is the aim or purpose of strategy? To improve our ability to shape and adapt to unfolding circumstances, so that we (as individuals or as groups or as a culture or as a nation-state) can survive on our own terms." Boyd's key concept was that of the decision cycle or OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act), the process an individual or an organization uses to react to a situation or event. According to Boyd, the key to victory is to create situations where one can make appropriate decisions more quickly than one's opponent.

Sun Tzu advises "If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy in orderly array and on the point of marching to the attack, I should say: 'Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.' Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy's unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots."

Sun Tzu

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Copyright © 2004-15 by D. J. Power (see his home page). PlanningSkills.COMsm is maintained by Alexander P. and Daniel J. Power. Please contact them at with questions. See disclaimer and privacy statement. This page was last modified on December 8, 2015.