1 Part 1 of these notes defined a plan and planning and discussed a meaning for “plan better” and some important elements in planning. Part 2 discussed how to use the two stages of planning to plan better.
2 This part discusses how the elements in a plan provide another means of studying how to plan better. The notes consider how best to ensure that a plan does include all the parts necessary to make it effective. They also discuss the need for alternative plans, planning in a broader long-term context, and ways of reviewing a completed plan.
The Elements in a Plan
3 Effective Planning will lead to a Plan.
4 A Plan must consist of the following elements:
(a) End Objective
(b) Other Objectives which someone believes will help to achieve the end objective (called Sub-Objectives in these notes)
5 The plan may include:
(a) when the Planner wants some or all of the sub-objectives
(ii) completed and
(iii) the time someone should take to achieve them.
(b) the sequence for starting and/or finishing some or all of the sub-objectives.
(c) the people to achieve the sub-objectives
(d) the resources (other than people) involved in each sub- objective (e.g. machines, material)
(e) the place to achieve the sub-objectives.
The Elements of an Effective Plan
6 The above elements of (just) a Plan merely expand on the definition of a Plan and point out two essential elements and some non-essential elements, An examination of an effectiveplan (as compared with just a plan) may provide more assistance to Planners since it will give them a standard for which to aim.
7 An effective plan will contain the following elements:
|(a) All Part Objectives
|(b) NO unnecessary Sub-Objectives
|(c) The correct sequence for all Sub Objectives
|(d) The right time to complete the sub –objectives
|(e) The right people to achieve each sub objective
|(f) The right resources (other than people to achieve each Sub Objective
|(g) The right place to achieve each Sub Objective
All Part Objectives 
8 Part Objectives describe Sub-Objectives that, if achieved, will help to achieve the next higher-level objective. The idea of a will-help connection leaves no room for doubt. The help connection exists as a fact, not just – highly likely to help. If a Part Objective exists which will help to achieve a next higher-level objective a plan cannot rate as effective if it leaves out a Part Objective.
No Unnecessary Sub-Objectives
9 The inclusion of a few unnecessary Sub-Objectives may not stop the achievement of an end objective i.e. affect the effectiveness of a plan.
10 Example, Mary has the objective - Make a cup of milk tea. She may still achieve her objective even if she aims to close a cupboard (after getting out a cup) and/or polish the outside of the teapot with rag. These objectives will not help her achieve her cup of tea; thus they will decrease the efficiency of the plan. However they will probably not stop Mary achieving her objective, i.e. she will still have an effective plan.
11 However in some plans a number of unnecessary Sub-Objectives may confuse someone using the plan. The Implementers may give too much attention to achieving some unnecessary Sub-Objectives and too little attention to other essential Sub-Objectives. Because of misallocation of effort the person may not achieve the end objective. This problem occurs more often in situations where it proves difficult to identify Sub-Objectives which will help achieve the end objective (i.e. unstructured situations); e.g. an end objective concerning changing attitudes.
The Correct Sequence for all Sub-Objectives
12 A Plan may include all Part Objectives (and no unnecessary Sub- Objectives) but the sequence of attempting some, or all, of the Part Objective may mean the difference between achieving, or not achieving, the end objective.
13 Example, If someone wishes to prepare a sealed pay envelope containing the correct money for one particular person the (part) objectives include: (a) Put money into envelope and (b) Seal envelope. If someone seals the envelope before putting in the money (i.e. uses the wrong sequence) the achievement of each Part-Objective will not mean the achievement of the end objective.
14 The above example shows a simple situation in which people would have no difficulty finding the correct sequence. For such a definite and clearly-structured situation the ideas of Part-Objective and correct sequence provide little help to a Planner. However many situations exist where the Plan has to include Sub-Objectives which no-one can confidently call Part-Objectives and no-one can definitely establish the correct sequence. For these cases, the idea of Part-Objectives and correct sequence does provide a useful standard so that Planners have a more definite aiming point for some aspects of their planning.
A Right Time to Complete each Sub-Objective
15 An objective may include a time factor, but some Planners leave out time elements in their Sub-Objectives. Thus this element deserves separate identification.
16 In some plans the end objective includes a time factor for completion and/or a duration time to limit the amount of time spent on trying to achieve the objective. If the Plan does not call for the achievement of some, or all, of the sub-objectives by a certain time; the plan (if followed) may not lead to the achievement of the end objective.
The Right People to Achieve each Sub-Objective
17 Sooner or later someone has to decide who will try to achieve each (sub) objective. An effective plan will identify people who will achieve the sub-Objectives which require people. Such people will (a) have the capacity to achieve the objective and (b) will try to achieve it (if asked).
The Right Resources (other than People) to Achieve each Sub-Objective
18 A Plan will not help to achieve the end objective if it (a) includes resources (machines, materials) which do allow the achievement of other Sub-Objectives and/or the end objective or (b) leaves out vital resources.
19 Example. If one Sub-Objective states “obtain envelopes” (or obtain 9” x 4” envelopes) and the envelopes which someone obtains prove too small to contain the material to go into the envelopes the plan to achieve the end objective “Mail material for the next meeting to all Committee Members” will prove ineffective.
The Place to Achieve each Sub-Objective
20 A Plan which specifies wrong places to carry out Sub-Objectives will prove ineffective.
21 Example. If one Sub-Objective states: “Pick up Material ‘X’ from the Melbournecity offices of McDougall and King” yet the Planner has made an error in the name and/or the location and McDonald and Queen hold Material ‘X’ the plan becomes ineffective - assuming material ‘X’ proves essential to the end objective.
Other Objectives involved in a Plan
22 Plans may involve other objectives than those mentioned above, such as
(a) Decide how to communicate different instructions to the people who have to achieve the sub-objectives.
(b) Decide When, How, Where, and What to check
(c) Decide who to use to check
(d) Find out attitude of people involved to the objectives they have to check
23 Plans may also include other plans in case something goes wrong. A Plan might.: (a) identify other people to use if the chosen people reject an objective, (b) list other resources, (c) state different places (different routes for a procession if a sit-down demonstration blocks different streets)
Perhaps Plans may contain an almost Infinite Number of Elements
24 The above list of other elements suggests that an almost infinite number of Sub-Objectives exist for many plans.
25 The question of identifying the elements of an effective plan begins to look like the problem of determining the length of a piece of string.
How to Improve the Parts of a Plan
26 The following sections examine the elements in a plan – to help find better methods of planning.
27 The sections do not consider the efficiency of the planning (i.e. how long it took to plan). Further they do not discuss how to set good end objectives. However (since sub-objectives “equal” objectives) sometimes the points about sub-objectives will apply to objectives.
Include all Part Objectives
28 Effective plans must include all Part Objectives. Thus, Planners should ask – How do I ensure I do not leave out any Part-Objectives?
Keep looking for Part Objectives
29 In everyday life people often ask: Have we forgotten anything? This question warns people to think about, and look for, things they may have forgotten. Thus, it implies – Keen on searching forPart Objectives).
30 Planners should realise they have a good chance of finding more possibilities if they continue to search. This thought provides a useful incentive to keep looking for Part-Objectives.
31 If Planners distinguish between (a) obtaining ideas and (b) evaluating them, they will have more chance of finding additional possible sub-objectives, since they will avoid moving too quickly into the “choose-between-objectives” part of planning.
32 This distinction helps particularly in planning by groups. If people evaluate possible sub-objectives immediately after people suggest them and rate some as unsuitable, the individuals who contribute the sub-objectives will tend to stop searching for more. If they contribute no more sub-objectives, no-one can oppose or criticise their suggestions
33 However Planners should compare the cost of searching for further sub-objectives with the advantages they hope to gain from (a) achieving the end objective and (b) any improvements in efficiency their better plan may give
Use Check Lists
34 A Check List shows a number of items which aim to help people remember to do something.
35 Some Check Lists help a large number of objectives; others only help the particular objective under consideration or a similar one.
Use a General Check List
36 The interrogative pronouns: what, when, who, where how, and why provide a general Check List which will help in many problems – as thought-starters, e.g. they show the Planners they must set objectives in certain areas.
37 The Planner has to link the pronouns to the topic under consideration.
38 Examples. In planning a Training Course, a Planner would ask: train? Who will we train? Wherewill we train? And so on. In planning to improve a method of work a Planner might ask: How else can we do the job? Whatother material or tools could we use? Whereelse could we do it? Who could do it more cheaply/better? Whenshould we do it? And so on.
39 Check Lists for specific objectives provide a useful aid to Planners and can save a great deal of time. A large number of check lists exist for achieving various end objectives.
40 Examples. Check lists for: entering a new market, manufacturing a new product, evaluating a market research proposal, areas to cover in a selection interview, points to consider when throwing a party.
Improve Specific Check Lists
41 Managers who have a recurring end objective will (probably) save time overall and plan much more effectively if they build up a check list with reference to that particular objective.
42 After trying to achieve the objective, a review of the results will usually show the need to add further items to check list.Usually such additions will help the effectiveness and efficiency of future planning
43 Example. People who go away on trips (say overnight interstate business trips) have to take away clothing and other personal effects. If they write out a check list for “things to take” they will find they take less time to pack and have little risk of forgetting anything. Anytime they find something they have not listed (e.g. swimming trunks) they can add it to the check list.
Use the Parts of Something as a Check List
44 For any activity (e.g. marketing) a check list would include all the activities involved in the activity. This list should help define sub-objectives for any objective related to the activity.
45 Example. Marketing includes the activities of advertising, personal selling, channels of distribution. A list of these sub activities will help Planners to record sub objectives for the end objective - Plan how to market product ‘x,
Use the End Result of a Process as Well as the Parts of a Process
46 As well as breaking a process into parts, the result will contain various elements or parts that also provide a useful checklist.
47 Example. These notes provide an example since they look at (a) the parts of planning and (b) the elements in a plan (the end result of planning).
48 Questions can help discover other possibilities. They provide a similar method to that of a check list.
49 Some questions help to find additional Sub-Objectives; others help to evaluate the importance of them in relation to the overall objective.
50 “Logical opposites” Questions. A specific type of question involves asking for the logical opposite of some objective already known.
51 Example. Tom considered “going up”; has he thought of “going down”? Mary thinks of the inside of something; she should think of the outside of something. If a Manager considers the suggested design lay-out of a form he should consider turning it through 90 degrees. If someone has thought of up and down what about sideways?
52 The objective “Do Nothing” provides a possibility, often forgotten. It covers the logical opposite of “Do Something”.
53 Deferment Question. The question: When do we have to make a decision? will often show a delay in decision-making can occur without running any risk at all. The “Decide to defer the decision” objective represents an easily-achieved one. Sometimes it allows Planners to learn other important information which will help them to plan better.
54 Questions concerning preceding and following activities. The questions: What activities would have to take place before objective “X”? and What activities would have to occur after it? provide useful questions to find new Part-Objectives.
Record Objectives in a Logical, Systematic and Written Form
55 Written objectives help to ensure Planners do not forget any already-developed objectives. They can leave their planning and return to it without fear of forgetting Sub-Objectives.
56 A logical and systematic procedure will often help identify other Sub-Objectives.
57 Grouping together some objectives that have a common factor will help to ask the logical-opposite question: What opposite objective exists?
58 Example. Mary, a Canteen Manager, listed down four meals. She realised she had listed four hot meals and suddenly remembered she could also offer cold meals.
59 Placing together, in logical sequence, the objectives that must follow one another will sometimes show up missing objectives.
Use Someone who has made a Similar Plan
60 A person who has (a) planned to achieve the same or similar objectives and/or (b) tried to implement a similar plan may help to find missing part-objectives. Even if such people do not have a written check list they can still assist to find over-looked part objectives, because of their experience.
61 A fresh mind will sometimes find “something missing”, even though they may not have planned for any similar end objective before.
62 Anyone can look for logical inconsistencies.
63 Example. The plan mentions returning a piece of equipment to a store but makes no mention of obtaining the equipment.
Use A Trial Run
64 A trial run of the situation provides another method.
65 Example. Harry plans a picnic for (say) a Social Club. He can try out certain aspects of the plan by traveling to the picnic spot and inspecting it about the same time of day as the intended picnic and then travel home from it. If the picnic involves a fire, the trial run could include lighting a fire. If the picnic involves cooking, the trial run would include checking on the availability of water; and so on.
66 Simulationprovides a special type of trial run – of an artificial type. the approach involves selecting certain characteristics of the idea or situation and looking at the results.
67 Examples. Plane designers test a plane by using a model in a wind tunnel. The model represents certain characteristics of the plane such as its shape and proportions and investigates such matters as the drag caused by the shape moving through air. However this simulated test ignores anything to do with the inside of the plane. For this aspect, Planners might build a mock-up inside of the cabin to check (e.g.) how well passengers can get in and out of seats.
68 Tom, a Warehouse Manager whose Store supplies its own Factory with parts might want to know how long people wait for service. He might find out the average time taken to serve a “customer” (someone wanting to get a new part) and the average number of “customers” who ask for service per hour. This information plus some numbers which represent the times at which customers come for service allows him to simulate typical service days with one, two, or three people giving the service, This figuring would allow him to find out the amount of time people have to wait for service.
69 If the plan involves people, a role-playing situation will provide a trial run.
70 Examples. Mark, a Manager has to interview an applicant for the job of a Sales Representative. He can try out his interviewing technique on someone else - perhaps one of his own Sales Representatives. Jane wants to ask her boss for a rise. She can try out different approaches on her husband or a friend. A Personnel Manager who has to interview a Union delegate might pre-test ideas by trying the approach on someone else
71 All the above examples demonstrate simulation, i.e. when someone tries various factors in a practice run or trial situation.
Exclude unnecessary Sub-Objectives
72 While some unnecessary sub-objectives will not stop some plans from helping the Implementer(s) achieve an end objective, they will certainly decrease the efficiency of achievement. Sometimes they will make a plan ineffective.
73 One approach to excluding unnecessary sub-objectives involves asking questions about each particular sub-objective.
74 The following provides a basic and important question: What other objectives will the sub-objective help to achieve?’
75 The following additional questionswill also prove useful: What does it (the sub-objective) aim to achieve? What will it probably achieve? What achievement would rate as the best or worst possible result from trying to achieve this objective?
76 Other questions might include – What would happen if we did not achieve it? How do you rate the importance of this sub-objective to the overall objective?
77 These questions aim to assess the necessity and degree of importance, of each sub-objective to the end objective. If Planners cannot relate them directly to the end objective they should relate them to some other objectives and try to work up and through the structure of objectives to find just what a particular (sub) objective will (probably) help to achieve. In many cases the ability to establish a help connection becomes difficult and a matter of opinion.
78 At this stage no procedure exists to ensure the exclusion of unnecessary sub-objectives, particularly for vague and intangible unstructured situations.
Quantification of Help Connection would make Decisions Easier
79 The difficulty of quantifying many of the (sub) objectives in business provides a major problem
80 Example. Jane, a Manager, wants to increase profits over the next two years. Her sub-objectives might include: (a) Buy a new machine, (b) Run a training course for Managers, (c) implement a new appraisal system, (d) Introduce new accounting methods, (e) Improve the organisation structure, (f) Get a new Production Manager, and so on. If she could measure the results of achieving these sub-objectives (i.e. how much effect each would have on profits) she would have an easy decision to make on which to include in her plan.
81 Techniques which help quantification (e.g. Discounted Cash Flow, Linear Programming, various statistical methods) will help to eliminate unnecessary sub-objectives.
How can Planners ensure they choose the correct Sequence for all Sub-objectives?
82 The “right” sequence for sub-objectives will relate to –
(a) effectiveness – the wrong sequence may mean no-one can achieve the end objective.
(b) efficiency – different sequences will allow achievement of an end objective but with variations in the use of factors such as: time, money, men, materials, machines, etc.
83 Example. Someone may want to finish a job quickly and not worry too much about cost. Another person may emphasise the completion of a job with least use of a particular machine or particular material - even if it means a greater use of time, money, or people. Different sequences will allow the achievement of an end objective with variations in speed and/or cost.
84 In some plans the sequence used does not prove particularly important in relation to achieving the end objective. This situation occurs where the sub-objectives have little relationship with one another, e.g. someone can do one activity while another person does something else or someone can try to achieve many different sub-objectives in almost any sequence.
85 However sometimes the achievement of one sub-objective depends on the achievement of another sub-objective (e.g. put on roof will depend on the erection of walls). In these cases bottlenecks occur – no-one can work on a number of other objectives until the completion of the bottleneck activity.
86 A technique exists for a formal analysis of the sequence of sub-objectives. People use a number of terms to cover this topic: (a) Critical Path Planning (or Method) and (b) PERT (Programmed Evaluation Review Technique). Although a difference exists between these two approaches, both aim to achieve the best sequence in planning to achieve an objective.
87 These notes refer to the topic as “Critical Path Network Analysis” (”Network Analysis” for short) and only deal with the topic in very broad terms: however most people will find the underlying ideas of Network Analysis quite simple.
88 The technique involves constructing a network by doing the following:
(a) Break the objective (or project) into small parts (or sub- objectives)
89 Example. Building a house involves - buy material, lay foundations, build walls, engage painters, put on the roof, finish off the interior, and so on.
(b) Find which parts cannot start until the completion of other parts.
90 Example. No one can add a roof before building a wall, but finishing off some of the interior may not have to wait until someone puts on the roof.
(c) Put down the sequence relationships between the parts in a form of a networkso that activities on the right of the network cannot start before the completion of jobs on the left – provided both parts connect together (by a circle) which shows the dependence of the right-hand activity on the left-hand one. This diagram sets out the activities in a sequence which shows inevitable dependency relationships and allows Planners to locate bottlenecks.
91 Example. The following diagram would indicate that job or sub-objective D cannot start until the completion of all of A, B, and C; and E and F cannot start until someone finishes D; but E and F do not depend on one another, Activity “D” shows a bottleneck.
92 Most network analyses use lines and circles: a line indicates an activity and a circle an event (i.e. the start or finish of an activity) – Hence the network analysis of the above would appear as under –
93 Planners estimate (or receive estimates of) the time to complete each part or activity and record on the diagram. This information allows the identification of the critical path: the path between the first and last event of a project which takes the longest time – i.e. the “bottleneck” path.
94 For the objective of preparing an advertising brochure for a particular product, the network might look as follows:
95 An estimate of the time (in days) added to the network gives the following:
96 The critical path of seven days involves events 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. If the writing of copy (2-4) took three days, the critical path of eight days would go through events 1, 2, 4, and 5
97 In the former case (where the critical path goes through 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) Dick, a Manager, could complete the brochure earlier if he could reduce the time spent on photography (2-3) and printing (4-5) If having the brochure one day earlier would save the organisation involved $100 and it would cost $20 for the photographer and his printing staff to work overtime, Dick could fairly easily gain $80.
98 By looking at the sequence of sub-objectives and finding the bottleneck or critical path, Managers can more easily see where they should give attention to reduce the time taken to do a job and/or make best use of available equipment, people, etc.
99 More complex projects (e.g. launching a new product or building a multi-storey building) require more complex networks. However the approach remains the same. With more complex networks a computer will help save time. Once the Computer has the network in its “memory”, Planners can try out various changes in times to complete various activities and see what effect it has on the overall time to complete the whole objective
100 In summary a Network Analysis provides a systematic way of finding out: (a) how long an objective will take to achieve, (b) the bottlenecks or critical path, and (c) if any ways exist to reduce bottlenecks to achieve the final objective more quickly.
The Right Time to complete Each Sub-Objective
101 To find out the time for the completion of each sub-objective, Planners should estimate the time each sub-objective will take to achieve.
102 Any estimate will have some degree of uncertainty and wide variations exist in some estimates – especially where the plan includes sub- objectives relatively new to the Planner and/or the Organisation concerned.
03 Once Planners know the time to achieve each sub-objective they can determine the critical path. However correct selection of the critical path depends on the accuracy of the time estimate for the critical-path and near-critical-path activities.
104 A Network Analysis may show that a person (or an Organisation) cannot achieve the objective in the time and/or cost desired. This fact may lead to someone abandoning the objective or altering it substantially. Sometimes a Manager will allocate more resources to achieving various sub-objectives faster (or with a different cost). Planning by this approach and adjustments to the allocation of resources allows Managers to achieve objectives which they would never have achieved if they had not carried out detailed planning.
105 However to determine the completion time for each sub-objective, Planners must know the completion time for the end objective. Sometimes the overall (end) objective may not state the time to finish. Managers should (usually) ensure objectives include a completion time.
The Right People to achieve each Sub-Objective
106 Once someone has identified a part objective someone has to agree to try to achieve it. All too often people choose a sub-objective but do not decide who will try to achieve it. This situation often happens in Committees. The group decides to do something but not who will do it,
107 In general, an effective plan should determine the person (or persons) who will try to achieve each sub-objective OR provide someone to make this decision.
The Right Resources to achieve each Sub-Objective
108 The achievement of a sub-objective often involves equipment and materials and they become important factors in planning. In such situations the choice of wrong resources will make a plan ineffective.
109 However sometimes people can achieve objectives with little else except their own abilities.
Resources include Information
110 Major objectives usually involve a number of management levels and each management level probably requires a different type, and amount, of information. Sometimes people cannot achieve an objective if they do not have certain information.
111 Example. The whereabouts of equipment, keys, basic materials, papers; the combination of a safe.
112 In other cases the information only rates as useful, i.e. it will help people to achieve the objective by giving them a better understanding of the end objective and/or encouraging them to have more interest in achieving the part objective.
113 Examples. The reason (next higher-level objective) for achieving a particular objective. Why did the Boss choose me to do the job? What will happen if we do not achieve the objective?
The Right Place to achieve each Sub-Objective
114 Sometimes Planners should consider just when they need to have certain elements of their plan in the one place.
115 Example. The Resources (equipment machine, raw material) and the Person to use them will have to come together in the one place and at the same time.
116 Should Planners plan for the occurrence of something which will prevent the achievement of some, or all, sub-objectives? Where a plan deals with a particularly important end objective Planners should spend time deciding emergency courses of action
117 If everything goes well, the Planners will have wasted such planning time. However, where failure involves a high cost, the additional cost of planning for other courses of action will prove worthwhile. The additional planning represents an insurance cost: the people concerned have a high probability of losing a little to ensure they do not lose a lot.
Planning in a broader, long-term Context
118 A plan may allow achievement of the overall objective; however where this objective (or a similar objective) will probably occur again, planning in more detail may give advantages which will help achieve (more efficiently) other similar objectives in the future. Planners may record the plan in a form (e.g. written) and with sufficient detail to help plan better the next time a similar objective occurs. Planners should use a form which will make it easy to add amendments and further information to their plan.
119 Example, Kate, an Architect, designs an office block. She could just record her ideas for the offices under consideration, However she might take extra trouble and record her ideas under various headings such as placement of phone and other service connections, the size of openings for furniture and equipment to go into buildings, angle of window protection in relation to location of offices and angle of the sun’s rays. She might record her plan in writing in various sections and leave enough space for additions and comments on her plan as she implements her ideas. She might include in her plan: check the reactions of building’s tenants to the building (say) one month and six months after they take up residence.
120 Some plans for moving offices include in the plan that each person involved will record in writing where the plan goes wrong, the factors forgotten, the annoyances which occur – and send to one person who will collate and use it to improve the plan for the next removal operation.
Aids to reviewing a Plan
121 Once a plan exists, Planners and/or Users may want to review it for effectiveness and efficiency. The following approaches should help. However they duplicate some of the methods for ensuring a Plan has not left out any part objectives.
122 Look at a Plan from another person’s viewpoint- preferably the people involved in carrying out the plan and/or people inevitably involved in the plan.
123 Example. Look at a marketing plan from the viewpoint of the Consumers and Distributors (if any exist). Look at a plan to launch a new product on the market, advertise it, sell it to grocers, etc. - from the viewpoint of the Grocers receiving the plan and the Consumers receiving the product.
124 Ask the question: “How would I like to try to implement this plan? It should help a Reviewer to consider a plan.
125 Get another person to review critically the plan. Someone closely involved in the situationor a similar situation would have a greater knowledge of the situation. Another approach involves using someone completely outside the situationsince they might possibly “see the wood as well as the trees”. In the case of the marketing plan for a food product through supermarkets a review by a supermarket Manager or a “typical” Customer may prove very helpful.
126 Put the Plan aside and review it later. Planners may feel very relieved to have finished the plan. Many will want to forget the plan and do not feel inclined to review it at that stage. A fresh approach after several hours or days may provide something close to a “fresh mind” on the subject.
127 Compare a Plan for a Similar Objective with the Plan. This approach amounts to showing the plan to another Planner with experience in a similar situation.
128 Look at each sub-objective by itself – in the reverse order to the plan. This approach means starting at the end of a sequence of sub-objectives and working towards the beginning. This method provides another way of obtaining a different look at a plan.
How much help do Planning Techniques give Planners?
129 These notes only offer limited help to Planners. Carrying out some procedures. including the use of questions, will give some help but they will not guarantee to help find unthought-of part-objectives. A major part of the effectiveness of plans will still depend on the intelligence, experience, and planning skills of Planners.
130 However most people can plan better if they give more attention to planning. A systematic approach (as outlined in these notes) should help many people plan better – especially inexperienced Planners.
131 Perhaps the greatest single factor involves altering people’s attitude: systematic thinking – before doing- will usually make the doing effective and more efficient.
132 The elements in a plan consist of (a) the end objective and (b) other objectives that someone believes will help to achieve the end objective (=Sub Objectives).
133 The plan may include: (a) whenthe Planner wants some or all of the sub-objectives started, completed, and the time someone should take to achieve them, (b) the sequence for starting and/or finishing some or all of the sub-objectives, (c) the people to achieve the sub objectives, (d) the resources (other than people involved in each sub- objective (e.g. machines, material), (e) the place to achieve the sub-objectives.
134 The elements of a Plan merely expand on the definition of a Plan and point out two essential elements and some non-essential elements. An examination of an effective plan – as compared with just a plan may provide more assistance to Planners since it will give them a standard for which to aim. An effective plan will contain the following elements: (a) all Part Objectives, (b) no unnecessary Sub Objectives, (c) the correct sequence for all Sub Objectives, (d) the right time to complete the Sub Objectives, (e) the right time to achieve each Sub Objective, (f) the right resources (other than people) to achieve each Sub—Objective, (g) the right place to achieve each Sub Objective.
135 Part Objectives describe Sub-Objectives that, if achieved, willhelp to achieve the next higher-level objective. If a Part Objective exists which will help to achieve a next higher-level objective a plan cannot rate as effective if it leaves out such a Part Objective.
136 The inclusion of a few unnecessary Sub-Objectives may not stop the achievement of an end objective i.e. affect the effectiveness of a plan. However in some plans, where the structure of the situation does not exist so clearly (e.g. an end objective concerning changing attitudes), a number of unnecessary Sub-objectives may confuse people using the plan so that they give too much attention to achieving some unnecessary Sub-Objectives and too little attention to others which may rate as essential. Because of this misallocation of effort the people may not achieve the end objective.
137 A Plan may include all Part Objectives (and no unnecessary Sub Objectives) but the sequence of attempting some, or all, of the Part Objective may mean the difference between achieving, or not achieving, the end objective.
138 An objective may include a time factor. However, because some Planners leave out time elements in their Sub-Objectives, this element deserves separate identification. In some plans the end objective includes a time factor for completion and/or duration time to limit the amount of time spent on trying to achieve the objective. If the Plan does not call for the achievement of some, or all, of the sub objectives by a certain time, the plan (if followed) may not ensure achievement of the end objective.
139 Eventually someone will have to decide who will try to achieve each (sub) objective. An effective plan will identify people who will achieve the Sub-Objectives which involve people. Thus the people will (a) have the capacity to achieve the objective and (b) will try to achieve it (if asked). A Plan will not help to achieve the end objective if it (a) leaves out vital resources or (b) includes resources (machines, materials) which do not allow the achievement of other Sub-Objectives and/or the end objective. A Plan which specifies wrong places to carry out Sub-Objectives will also prove ineffective.
140 Plans may involve other objectives than those mentioned above, such as: (a) Decide how to communicate different instructions to the people who have to achieve the sub-objectives, (b) Decide When, How, Where and What to check, (c) Decide Who to use to check, (d) Find out attitude of people involved to the objectives they have to check. Plans may also include other plans in case something goes wrong. The above list of other elements suggests that an almost infinite number of Sub Objectives exist for many plans. The question of identifying the elements of an effective plan begins to look like the problem of determining the length of a piece of string.
141 The necessity to include all Part Objectives to obtain an effective plan involves asking the question: How do Planners ensure they do not leave out any Part-objectives.
142 Planners should realise they have a good chance of finding more possibilities than they first thought. This idea provides an incentive to keep looking for Part-Objectives. If Planners make a distinction between the obtaining of ideas and evaluation of them, they will have more chance of finding additional possible Sub- Objectives, since they will avoid moving too quickly into the “choose-between-objectives” part of Planning. This distinction helps particularly in any planning by group discussions. If people evaluate possible Sub-Objectives immediately after their suggestion and rate some as unsuitable then the individual who contributed to the Sub-Objective will tend to stop searching for others. Thus they will avoid having someone oppose or criticise their suggestion. In addition Planners should use the following ideas – (a) Use Check Lists (both specific and general e.g. Kipling’s Six Serving Men, (b) Aim to improve the Check Lists, (c) Develop Check Lists by using the parts of (i) some process and (ii) its end result, (d) Use Questions (e.g. logical opposites and deferment types, (e) Record objectives in a logical and systematic manner, (f) Use another person, preferably someone who has made a similar plan – but a fresh mind without relevant experience can help to find missing part objectives. (g) Use a trial run (including simulation and role playing)
143 To exclude unnecessary sub-objectivesPlanners should: (a) Ask Questions (what next higher-level objective will this objective help to achieve?) to assess the necessity, and degree of importance, of each sub-objective to the end objective; (b) Quantify the help connection, where possible.
144 To help choose the correct sequence for sub-objectivesPlanners should look for appropriate situations to use Critical Path Network Analysis – (a method that encourages a logical and formal analysis of which objectives Implementers must achieve before they can try to achieve others. Network Analysis provides a systematic way of finding out (a) how long an objective will take to achieve, (b) the bottlenecks or critical path and (c) if any ways exist to reduce bottlenecks to achieve the final objective more quickly.
145 Network Analysis will help to find out the correct time to complete each Sub-Objective. Planners must know the completion time for the overall objective. Sometimes the overall end objective may not state the time to finish. Managers should (usually) ensure objectives include a time for completion.
146 An effective plan should determine the person (or persons) who will try to achieve each sub-objective or provide for the making of such a decision.
147 Planners will also have to ensure their plan includes the right resources and remember that resources include information. Here again a consideration of each sub-objective in a systematic way should help. The same point applies to ensuring the plan identifies the right place to carry out each sub-objective.
148 Where Planners deal with a particularly important end objective spending time on deciding emergency courses of action may prove worthwhile. The additional planning represents an insurance cost: the people concerned have a high probability of “losing” a little to ensure they do not lose a little to ensure they do not lose a lot.
149 A Plan may allow achievement of the overall objective; however where this objective (or a similar objective) will probably occur again, planning in more detail may give advantages which will help achieve, more efficiently, other similar objectives in the future,
150 Aids to reviewing a finished plan include: (a) Look at a plan from another person’s viewpoint, (b) Ask the question: “How would I like this plan if someone asked me to implement it”? (c) Get another person to review critically the plan, someone closely involved and/or someone completely outside the situation, (d) Put the Plan aside and review it later, (e) Compare the Plan for a similar objective with the plan, (f) Look at each sub-objective by itself – in the reverse order to the plan.
151 Those notes only offer limited help to Planners. However most people will plan better if they give more attention to planning. A systematic approach (as outlined in these notes) should help most Planners to improve their planning. Perhaps the greatest single factor involves altering people’s attitude: systematic thinking, before doing, will usually make the doing more effective and more efficient.
 These notes do not deal with the correctness or “goodness” of an end objective. However effective planning for the wrong (or a useless) end objective regularly occurs in all organisations. Thus someone should ask: Have we selected the right (or a wise) end objective? Another way of looking at this problem involves using the objective “Decide if our present end objective aims to help solve the real problem.” This objective amounts to looking at what higher-level end objective(s), the end objective under discussion aims to achieve. In effect the Planner has another end objective which someone (else) should have achieved before planning commenced for the end objective. The notes on “Objectives” discuss how to distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ objectives.
 The right completion time will depend on choosing the right starting time in conjunction with the right duration time
 These five interrogative pronouns do not include the sixth – “why”. The “why” refers to the next-higher-level objective i.e. the reason for trying to achieve the end objective of the plan.
 The notes on “objectives” explain Part Objectives in more detail.
 The notes on “Classification for Objectives” discuss in detail that any objective will include an activity factor and may include a time factor
 Some people know these pronouns as “Kipling’s six serving men” because of Kipling’s verse – “I had six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew. Their names are what and where and when, and how and why and who”.
 See the notes on “Drawing Decision Trees” for more details.
 Later sections of these notes explain Critical Path Networks briefly. The notes on”Planning and Control by Network Analysis” give an extensive treatment of this subject.
 This example represents a typical queuing problem. The above only gives a broad outline of the situation.
 Later sections of the notes expand this question into – “What next-higher-level objective does this objective aim to help?
 These notes do not attempt to explain these terms. The notes “Introduction to Operational Research” give more information.
 The notes on “Planning and Control by Network Analysis” provide more details on this whole topic.