Planning vs Getting Things Done
At ArchiSnapper, we’re a small group of very pragmatic people. We focus on delivering value to our customers with a simple app for field reports and punch lists.
As a small and relatively new business, we don’t believe in planning months or years ahead.
Drafting a spreadsheet that says we will grow at X% because we will do this and that is often just a way to make you feel calm and in control. Long term plans might give you a false feeling that all will be fine and might reduce the urge to be alert and assertive, day in day out.
And what’s the value of that long term planning spreadsheet when every day in the real world new things happen? Customers giving you interesting feedback, new promising technologies and trends, new competitors …
We believe more in getting things done today, tomorrow, this week.
We listen to our customers very carefully. The suggestions that come back most are the ones we’ll build, not the ones we planned for one year ago. We have a system in place for logging customer feedback and feature suggestions, but most of the time we just know what’s next without looking at this list because our customers keep on reminding us about it.
We have weekly marketing meetings where we check what has been done and what we could do next. No need to draft a 10-page marketing plan or list the 75 marketing tactics for the next year. We can only do one thing at a time, so what’s the point of planning for the whole year, not knowing what the year will bring?
What’s the point of planning for more than one next thing at a time, when you’re living in a reality that’s constantly changing?
We think it’s difficult to plan for growth – or for whatever you want to achieve with your company. We don’t believe in a silver bullet or in “If we do this we gonna be big”.
We just try little things that make sense and do them the best way we can, one thing after another. It’s the compounding of all these little things done well that makes the difference in the long run.
So when people ask us where we want to be in 2 or 3 or 5 years (in terms of revenue, product, employees) the answer is we don’t know. We’ve been in business for only 7 years with ArchiSnapper, how would we know we know where we’ll be in 5 years from now?
If we would think we would know the answer to that question we wouldn’t be as alert, flexible and open for opportunities as we are now. We don’t have a long term plan that tells us where we’re going so we’re always alert and flexible to make the best moves, week in week out.
So we’ll stick to our short “what’s next meetings” and try to get things done. That’s how you make actual progress in the real world after all …
Take care, Jerry