Planning fills the air with joy and clarity. I’ve planned everything from building a bookshelf, to going to college, to setting up my curriculum, to researching a thesis, to having children, to buying a house, to re-roofing a house, to camping trips, to exercise regimens, to buying a car, to writing a book, to writing today’s “to do” list, to Christmas shopping, to mapping out road-trips, to scheduling vacation activities, to relocations, to teaching classes.
All of these need a lot of careful, detailed planning. But even if you do all of the above without planning, the one thing you should make sure to plan carefully, is a software project: market research, user requirements, resource estimates, business requirements, schedules, technical requirements, time estimates, capturing implied requirements, schedules within schedules, staffing and expertise adjustments (warm bodies, knowledge management, alignment, etc.), exit strategies. If you have your ducks in a row, you are more likely to make successful judgments and adjustments along the way, when plans don’t go as planned. The best defense against things not going as planned is to plan thoroughly.
You can feel the exhilaration when you have a good plan, when all of the complicated timing and activities and interactions go according to plan. You get satisfaction when good contingency plans allow you to make swift and positive adjustments. You can feel the refreshing breeze in a smooth operation, whether it’s a software project or Christmas shopping. So be a type “P” personality, and experience the joy and clarity that come with being a Planner.