In LO3396, Michael McMaster wrote...
>That is why "backward planning" is only a small
>improvement. The goal, the steps back and everything else
>about it is grounded in the same logic. It merely serves as a
>temporary means of tricking the ancient ways of thinking.
Not defending backward or forward planning but curious as to
the method you recommend and use. Is it middle out? On what
basis do you believe there is a difference between backward and
forward planning with backward being a small improvement?
What do you mean ancient ways of thinking? Was there some
writing you were referring to when you used the word ancient?
>Have you ever seen a backwards planning process that set a target
>that was truly impossible? Have you ever seen a backwards planning
>process that didn't arrive back at the current situation?
I've been involved with one close to, but not quite, impossible. I would
call it a stretch goal of outrageous proportions. We planned backwards
and found we did not meet the current situation head-on. We were
"to the side of it", a long distance away. I would imagine if anyone
took note at the time, they would have seen my face pale.
The goal I committed to: Install a new, automated feed system to 6
extruders with no downtime. This is like saying, keep the race car
running full speed during a race while installing a new fuel tank. I
used this race car metaphor to figure out the puzzle. It turned out
to be extremely difficult to hook up new lines on the fly since the
lines were being welded in place, causing metal shavings to fall into
the lines. That was one of the two impossible puzzle pieces.
We recreated current reality to make it "look and feel like" the
race car was being pulled around the race track on a high
speed trailer while the gas tank was replaced. The metaphor
worked but only after a couple of us spent 150-200 hours simply
thinking about how we could recreate current reality on a temporary
basis for each line as the conversion took place. In the total 84
hours of conversion, we came close to the goal, losing only a couple
of hours on one line.
If we had not redefined the starting point to a "temporary starting
point" we could not have met the goal. The reason for the goal in
the first place was that if the line would need to be down for 1 hour
out of the 14, it would likely need to be down for all 14 or maybe
>I'd love to have been involved in one that created a target planned
>backwards and, as it neared a starting point, discovered that the
>starting point was impossible to get to from where the originators of
>the plan were.
It might have been amusing to be sitting on the side observing. It did
not feel like much fun at the time.
Have a great day!!
-- Dave Buffenbarger Organizational Improvement Coach Dow Chemical Company email@example.com