But how much planning is needed? Are the efforts to plan always rewarded? The Secret is to Anticipate!


The advantages of a combined approach, not to lay down creativity and non-specific experience

By Antonino Montanari

Senior Consultant, JMAC Europe

Milan, Italy

We see only what we look for and we only look for what we know. So, we see only what we already know. Are we sure, then, that planning everything in detail is the preferred way to identify the best strategy?

“Have you not booked for the August holidays, yet?” My wife asks me, a tone higher than usual. And she is referring to the next year…

I used to be a super-planner, never relaxed, ever worried that nothing had been left to chance. But over time in our travels we have experienced a wide range of contingencies: a landslide in Costa Rica, a strike in Ecuador, an engine failure of the aircraft when in Colombia, stomach-ache in Namibia. Not to mention the lost opportunities, “How beautiful this place is! I would like to stay one more day, but we have already booked all hotels and transfers for the next two weeks …” or, “How picturesque that cottage! And it’s free … but they are waiting for us at the hotel. ”

Most of times it is not convenient to be planning everything, even for industrial or scientific matters. How often inventions or discoveries have revealed unexpected extras while you were planning to create or find something? The adventure of Christopher Columbus is certainly enough to remind us of that. His extraordinary discovery has taught us how an unexpected output can be more surprising than the expected one. It is necessary, therefore, to leave time and resources also to unplanned initiatives.

“A stitch in time saves nine”, “do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today” and so on. All good maxims, but not wise in any circumstances!


To read entire paper (click here)

Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally published in the Italian Business Management Magazine “L’IMPRESA” N° 12/2013, pp74-76.  It is republished here with permission of the author.

About the Author

pmwj22-may2014-Montanari-AUTHOR IMAGEAntonino Montanari flag-italy

Milan, Italy

Antonino Montanari is a Senior Consultant of JMAC Europe (www.jmaceurope.com), an expert of the methodologies for managing R&D organizations. In his work he deals with the design, execution and management of consulting projects and training services to businesses, with main reference in the areas of R&D. He has been working on projects mainly in electromechanical and electronic products companies, as well as industrial and consumer goods, in particular in the automotive and household appliance.  Antonino can be contacted at [email protected].