Do you plan to review your plan?

Nobody really likes planning. Plans are bad in the eyes of many people, seen as a necessary evil by others and some people would rather just jump straight in and figure things out as they go along. However, if you approach them the right way, planning can provide more than just a set of deadlines. Specifically I’m talking about the type of Information Plan that is covered in Managing your Documentation Projects.

In that respect, plans are good. They help set the direction and make sure everyone knows what they need to do to get there.

Yup, plans are good. The creation of a plan usually drives discussion around the deliverables and the audience of the information.

It goes without saying then, and I’m sure you all agree that, and this is just in case you’ve missed my point, plans are good.

Unless you don’t revisit the plan throughout the project. At that point, through no fault of the plan, the plan is useless.

It’s very very easy to get sucked into the detail of your current work, understanding how to explain to users how Widget X works if you are running Component Y, and I’m as guilty of that as the next person. Revisiting your plan throughout the project will help keep you from losing sight of the woods for all those damn trees.


4 Responses to “Do you plan to review your plan?”

  1. Milan Davidovic
    8 October 2009 at 17:00

    It’s a kind of Helmuth von Moltke the Elder sort of thing, eh? No plan survives contact with the enemy…

    If you’re not going to commit to reviewing the plan, do you think it might be just as well to not bother at all with planning?

  2. Gordon McLean
    8 October 2009 at 21:39


    The act of planning drives a discussion about the content/audience/deliverables which is valuable in and of itself.

    Not reviewing your progress to the plan throughout is a waste, but I guess you could get away with it.

  3. Do Technical Writing projects need a Documentation Plan? | I Heart Tech Docs, Ivan Walsh, Technical Writer & Technical Writing Tips
    17 October 2009 at 10:12

    [...] Gordon McLean asks: do you plan to review your plan? [...]

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