I’m facilitating a workshop and I realize that a participant’s presentation will take far more time than we’ve agreed.
At the same time I see that the topic brings a lot of value to the audience and that the discussion that will follow will contribute a lot to the workshop’s objectives.
While listening, I review objectives, structure and schedule of the workshop, and I visualise different replanning options.
I consider shortening exercises, changing activities and modifying the ways deliverables are to be produced.
When the presentation is finished, I have a new plan ready and I can smoothly drive the workshop into the new direction: we reach the goal through a different path.
In retrospect, when comparing the planned path with the one we actually followed, it’s tempting to question the value of investing time in producing plans that are often radically changed in the delivery phase.
However, it’s only because we invested the time in planning that the project has become clear enough for us to be able to replan it on the fly later.
Paradoxically, we need a plan to be able to change it.