A Good Plan Done Now Is Better Than A Perfect Plan Done Next Week ….. George S. Patton

Leading, management, management philosophy, Planning

Imagine a football head coach’s game plan for an upcoming game. The head coach identifies what the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses are as well as their own team’s strengths and weaknesses. The head coach imagines what certain scenarios would look like if applied. For example, if we run a sweep towards the defenses all-star defensive end, what would happen? If we use this player against their player on this down, what would happen? If we try a misdirection play in this situation, what would happen, etc? Many scenarios in are imagined until the coach believes he sees the plays and personnel that will contribute to their team winning. A plan is formulated called the game plan. Now what?


The head coach knows the game plan and there are many capable players on his team. The coach must now organize the plan and activities so they are executed correctly during the game. The head coach needs a chain-of command in order to implement the game plan to the 100 or so players who will be executing the plays and techniques to win the game. The head coach relies on a defensive coordinator, offensive coordinator, linebackers coach, defensive backs coach, etc., in the team’s chain-of-command. Multiple meetings happen between the coaches when they review the plans effectiveness and how the plan will be applied to the team. At practice, every different coach applies the activities and ideas of the plan to his/her group of players and they practice. The team practices every concept about every activity needed to perform the plays correctly to win the game. When the game is finally played, every player and every coach knows what needs to be done in every situation to reach the team goal, winning the game.


This organizing example is a lot like what managers have to do in order to organize their plan. The head coach is the general manager and his or her coaching staff is the assistant management team and training staff. The game plan envisioned by the general manager could apply to a peak sales period – game time. The plan allows for the team to win the moment which looks like the team delivering brand standards and pleasing a large number of customers. Organizing the plan happened when the right staff were hired. It also happened when the general manager held meetings illustrating what activities need to happen during peak sales. Determining the department managers establishes a chain-of –command. Ordering enough goods and training the staff correctly are also part of the plan to deliver the win.