Agile, Scrum and sprints are the current buzzwords when it comes to how managers are supposed to organize the work processes in their enterprises. In contrast, strategic planning has fallen out of favour in the views of many CEOs who are tempted to copy emerging trends from the coolest Silicon Valley start-ups.

And yet, strategic planning is clearly essential for any company of any size. Look around your own office: the fact that you have a place to work which is equipped for the job, and you and your colleagues are working on a particular project at a particular time and place, requires some sort of planning. The reality is that plans have to be made about the use of a company’s resources all of the time. Some are short-term, others stretch into an imagined future.

But if planning and agility are both necessary, organizations have to make them work. They have to create a Venn diagram with planning on one side, agility on the other, and a practical and workable sweet-spot in the middle.  This is why the quest to rethink strategic planning has never been more urgent and critical. Planning twenty-first century style should be reconceived as agile planning.

Agile planning has a number of characteristics:

  • frameworks and tools able to deal with a future that will be different;
  • the ability to cope with more frequent and dynamic changes;
  • the need for quality time to be invested for a true strategic conversation rather than simply being a numbers game;
  • resources and funds are available in a flexible way for emerging opportunities.

Read more about the requirements for Agile Planning in ECSI’s recent article published by Harvard Business Review