Are you of the type Planner in project management ?
Are you a planner? Are you like me? Have you ever felt that there are many ways to organize and manage projects? Yet, it is regularly implied that project management is a fixed science with optimal methods.
Project and time management tools are presented as being good for everyone. Few highlight the fact that we all have preferences. Or few explain that some tools may not be adapted to our personality.
The consequence is that, for some of us, the methods work. For others, however, a sense of incompetence in time management and project management emerges. We’re starting to question our ability lead project, and yet it’s just that the tools are not adapted to us.
Personalities, project management perspective
There are several types of personalities or preference in project management. This seems obvious, and yet many of us forget it.
This article is the third of a series of 5. The objective is to describe the concepts that explain the polarities of the personalities and briefly describe the personalities. In this article, we will explain the type: Planner.
Before we begin, it is important to point out that there is an infinite range of viewpoints and variations. The important thing is to understand what creates the polarities, the fundamental axes of your type of management. Before you start reading this article, make sure you have read the introductory article on Project Management Perspectives.
And remember, you are potentially all these points of view depending on a specific situation. It is therefore important to understand the 4 to know how to navigate and adapt according to the situation.
Are you of the type planner?
Main characteristics of the planner
In the spectrum of the graph above, you:
Have access to a high level of detail compare to others in your group in general. You may even be considered an expert among your peers. You can understand a lot of information per unit of time. For example, a figure skating judge sees details that most of us didn’t have the time to appreciate, nor knows how to appreciate them. It is the level of expertise or sensitivity on the subject that often influences the level of perceived detail.
Need more energy to change states than your colleagues. Note : that the more organized you are, the more energy it will take to change your plan. It’s not a bad thing is simply a fact! The more details we have access to, the more difficult it is to change the plan based on the multitude of constraints. Finding an equivalent solution will take time so energy to do so. The longer the period in time planned and the larger the size of the group, the more energy it takes to change plans.
The importance of memory, especially for the planner
It is possible, but rare that a planner does’nt have a good memory. As it is almost essential to have a good memory to access to a high level of detail. It is necessary in order to develop expertise. However, it is possible to have an excellent memory in one area and not in another.
Having a good memory makes it possible to visualize potentials future . While this is true for all time management personalities, it is especially important for the planner. Since the planner has access to more details, it allows them to observe more elements. Being able to memorize patterns and trends from the steps we went through is clearly an advantage in creating future plan. The planner recognizes patterns, trends on sequences that are more detailed than type 1 personality for example.
Note: this does not prevent the planner from seeing the bigger picture, but it may take longer to do the analysis as there are more details to analyze.
Some advantages of being a planner
You have a high analytical capacity,
ability to create processes at any level of detail
and you have a high adaptive capacity within the energy limit available to change the plan
but above all you have the ability to extrapolate potential futures
You have the ability with only some events to extrapolate potential futures. The more elements you have, the more valid, clear and accurate your approximations will be. You are able to see many more patterns, processes than the rest. And you can identify as soon as an event occur the trend you are in. This is mainly due to the fact that you have access to more details.
For example, you are at work and you perceive details that do not lie. You know what’s going to happen, you’ve seen this trend before. If, through your analysis, the methods are doomed to failure, it is obvious to you that the methods must be adjusted, adapted and modified. Your instincts and analysis seem very valid to you, and most of the time they do, and you often bite your fingers not to say:
«I told you so»
For you, it is very easy to plan, to see how things will unfold. You can make plans with more or less long term and with more or less details, depending on your level of expertise on the subject. That’s what makes you able to extrapolate a lot of potential futures.
The planner should pay attention to:
Being able to determine the steps of a plan, and coupled with your ability to see the details and extrapolate them to potential futures, you’re the type that almost has the ability to read into a crystal ball. It might sound extraordinary, but not necessarily !
Most people don’t see what you see. They can’t create a plan with that much information. So there’s a good chance you’ll lose them in your analysis. So you often find yourself alone with your understanding of the situation. It is because details sometimes frighten others and your sequences might appear as rigid and useless steps.
So, you have to learn to adapt, and share the right level of detail with others in your group and don’t organize any more than necessary for others. You’re at the end of the spectrum for all the other personalities. Your challenge is to limit yourself and find the right level for the group you are working with.
Example of typical situations experienced by the planner
You probably have the feeling of seeing the obvious, sorry you are the only ones to see them at this stage of time! The time parameter is important here. This is the access to small details that allows you to extrapolate future events faster than others. Therefore, there is a good chance that you will draw conclusions before others.
Good luck getting your messages and learnings out, as you are often ahead, it’s difficult to explain what you understand. You often hear the phrase, “Don’t worry it will not happen ! your worry too much for nothing…” And yet, they should be the ones to react. It is precisely because they do not react that you are concerned. It is obvious, according to the data, we are heading directly towards a disaster.
Trying to explain your vision especially to the opposite personality becomes almost an impossible task. Good luck!
So you understand there are specific tips to follow when we are THE PLANNER in a team. A future article will present a few tips to help you interact with other in a smooth way and get where you wish to go.
Invitation to read more
I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, I invite you to:
- Read more about the other 2 project management personalities.
- Ask me (see below) for the time distribution guidebook
- And follow me to learn more about the tricks to follow when you are a PLANNER.