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  Management
  Alternatives Pty Ltd
  ABN 23 050 334 435



Contents | 1. Essence | 2. Types | 3. Models | 4. Jargon | 5. Checklists | 6. Resources


1. The essence of planning

Essence of planning

The essence of planning is asking and answering questions:

  • Where have we come from?
  • Where are we?
  • Where do we want to go?
  • How are we going to get there?

Planning and evaluation are integrally connected. They are like two sides of the one coin. When projects and services are being planned it is also the time to plan the evaluation.

Examples in human services

Example 1
Women aware of their rights in relation to family violence

Where have we come from?
Our community has become more multi-cultural over recent decades.

Where are we?
Many women in the community are not aware of their rights in relation to family violence.

Where do we want to go?
All women in the community aware of their rights in relation to family violence.

How are we going to get there?
Translation of local brochures into community languages and distribution through all local services.

Example 2
Management Committee members increasing their skills so they can better manage community organisations and projects

Where have we come from?
The management of community organisations has become more complex in recent years. There are increased legislative requirements and increased accountability requirements. People coming onto management committees in our region need new skills.

Where are we?
Management committee members are acknowledging the need for new skills and are looking for training opportunities.

Where do we want to go?
Management committee members with relevant skills for managing community organisations and projects.

How are we going to get there?
Employ a trainer for the region who can work with local management committees.

Planning paradoxes and dilemmas

There are paradoxes and dilemmas in planning, for example:

Do we believe:

  • We can predict the future
  • We can’t predict the future
  • Is is useful to pretend we can predict the future

Do we:

  • Need the right plan (on paper)
  • Need the right process (people involved)

Do we approach planning by saying:

  • Planning - we intend to do what we say in our plan
  • Planning - we pretend we know where we are going so we can set out on a journey today

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Do we plan believing planning is more of a

  • 1+2 = 3 problem (logical)
  • 1+2 = 12 problem (creative)

Do we believe:

  • we make our plans and define our choices
  • our choices evolve and our plans document what's evolving.

Our answers to these and other paradoxes and dilemmas dramatically effect how we approach planning.

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