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2 replies [Last post]
Ben Hall
User offline. Last seen 13 years 24 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 18
Hi all,

I am curious to know your thoughts here.

What do you think makes a Poor Planner?

Let me know as I am interested to know!

Ben Hall


Chris Oggham
User offline. Last seen 7 years 4 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 605
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I agree with what you’ve said; general charactaristics that make a poor planner are pretty much the same as those that make a poor project manager, accountant or chemist. These run pretty much along the lines of the list below

  • Doesn’t spend sufficient time or effort doing the job he’s paid for;

  • Antagonises or patronises the people he has to work with;

  • Doesn’t give straight answers to straight questions;

  • When asked for an explanation, either becomes evasive or spouts a complete load of horse puckey;

  • Imagines that software and paperwork will do the planning for him;

  • Has an overinflated opinion of his own intelligence and abilities;

  • Is unable to accept criticism;

  • Has preconceived ideas about people based on stereotypes of race or nationality;

  • Is unable to admit it when he doesn’t know something;
  • Wastes people’s time with trivia and irrelevances;

Not everything, of course, but maybe it’ll do as a start.

Chris Oggham
James Barnes
User offline. Last seen 44 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Sep 2007
Posts: 241
when I saw the thread title in CAPS I initially though that this was another Charlie thread :)

There are several discussions on the other sub-forums about this subject, from different angles. Some make interesting reading, some descend into rants. My opinion on your question;

A bad planner may be Arrogant, believing that he or she knows how to organise and execute the works more effectively than the executers. It really doesn’t matter, even if he or she is correct in their assumption because the planner is not the one who executes the project.

Conversely, a bad planner may be too timid or lacking in project specific knowledge to communicate with the executors and management regarding expectations and acheivability. Such a planner will tend to stretch (or more accurately compress) the acheivable to match the expectations handed down. A bad plan will result.

In both cases, such planners will tend to work in an ivory tower, isolating themselves from the executors

Thus, I believe that a planner needs a balance between the ability to debate with others (both executors and management) and the willingness to listen to them.

Further, I’d say that, both in relation to the above and to the generation of the output, a planner must essentially be an excellent communicator. Bad communicators never make good planners in my experience. Thankfully, communication skills are not genetic and can be learned.

Finally, the best plans are the ones that have been thoroughly bathed in constructive criticism by the management but more importantly the executors. This will temper the plan, as well as effectively involving the executors in the process (horrible phrase, but "buying in" is still the best I can think of). Thus an ability to take criticism on the chin is a real asset, as is the ability to recognise constructive criticism from sniping and ignore the latter without heckles raised. This is probably my weak point but I have a decent boss who I trust to recognise the sniping as it happens (and there is a lot of it) so I don’t need to defend myself against it ... at least that’s what I tell myself!