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The Importance of Writing Down Your Plan

People are often surprised when things don't go according to plan. In the web development world this may be a customer presentation, server maintenance gone bad or a dozen of other things. When this happens, it's not a sign of the world conspiring against you, but rather a sign of bad planning.

Any good plan should contain logical "what if" scenarios, where you try to identify things that could possibly go wrong - and ways to compensate for them or prevent them entirely. In the case of a presentation, what do you do if there is no projector? What if your computer breaks? What if the customer has questions that can't be answered by your presentation? These alternative scenarios create a number of different forks and bends that people are generally very bad at trying to predict and account for all at once. The solution? Write your plan down.

Writing a plan down gives a chance for review, introspection and thinking up additional scenarios while reliving you of having to remember everything you've thought of so far. It also makes it easier to share your plan with other people (also a good idea) and quickly recall all the details of your plan after a night of sleep.

So the next time life surprises you, instead of cursing your luck - take it as a wake up call to do a little more advanced planning next time. And be sure to write things down.

Date posted: June 29, 2010


Last night we were discussing how the mere act of talking about your plan aloud to another human is an essential part of the plan making. Just through explanation you tend to catch multiple bugs and holes in your thought that may have snuck by you.

A wise woman once told me that we make plans in times of sanity and calm, and enact them in times of chaos and stress, relying on our previous sanity to guide us through the chaos when we have nothing else to hold on to. Clearly through experience our planning gets better, last night we had some chaos that escalated in part because we needed to learn some key pieces in order to ensure planning goes better next time.

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About the Author

Joaquin Lippincott, CEO

Joaquin is a 20+ year technology veteran helping to lead businesses in the move to the Cloud. He frequently speaks on panels about the future of tech ranging from IoT and Machine Learning to the latest innovation in the entertainment industry.  He has helped to modernize software for industry leaders like Sony, Daimler, Intel, the Golden Globes, Siemens Wind Power, ABC, NBC, DC Comics, Warner Brothers & the Linux Foundation.

As the CEO and Founder of Metal Toad, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, his primary job is to "get the right people in the room".  This one responsibility is cross-functional and includes both external business development functions as well as internal delegation and leadership development.

A UCLA alumni, he also serves in the community as a Board Member for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, and Stand for Children Oregon - a public education political advocacy group. As an outspoken advocate for entry-level job creation in tech he helped found the non-profit, P4TH, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of entry-level jobs in the tech industry, and is in the process of organizing an Advisory Board for the Bixel Exchange, a Los Angeles non-profit that provides almost 200 tech internships every year.


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