The Planning-Execution Gap

However thoroughly, meticulously and beautifully conceived it can be, a plan will only remain as such - a plan - until it is successfully executed. But more often than not, indeed almost certainly, there is always a gap between the expectation from planning and the result of execution. The discrepancy is just a matter of extent. 

Failures in the business world can be attributable to the lack of planning, or to design flaws in the planning process, but perhaps even more to the planning-execution gap. We can analyze business cases and readily see that in projects of mergers and acquisition, IPO, organization restructuring, product launch, promotion campaign, and all the rest of business activities - in fact any activity involving investment and planning of resources in one way or another. 

For as long as a plan remains on paper - or in a digital file - any problems can be analyzed and fixed, however huge and complicated the plan is. It is when things are to be executed that all real life factors come into play, not necessarily in such forms or ways as considered or expected. In fact, just depending on the margin of error one is prepared to put up with, things almost certainly do not turn out as planned and, fatalistically speaking, success is largely down to luck. For beyond the realm of ones conscious effort, how events unfold are indeed subject to randomness beyond the thorough comprehension, let alone control, of any single individual.

So anyone who takes for granted a self-serving well-conceived plan but complains about a poor outcome is at best naive and at worst dumb. That is not to suggest that we should simply sit back and accept any outcome as destiny, but quite the contrary: An attitude to aim for the best in all things one does, therefore, a natural and sensible attention to details all the time - and how they relate to the picture of success. Only with that in mind and in force we can peacefully accept any outcome as destiny.

Nevertheless, execution by mistake - or as a painting - can be costly!  


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