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Welcome to the Fortnightly Gripes discussion for the second half of July. Every half month, we will drop our concerns, deadends, pleas for change, etc on a selected topic. This thread will focus on: annual planning.
If you're like Atlassian, your fiscal year just ended in June. Or for many others, your fiscal year coincides with the calendar year. And still others have other ends of their financial years. Whatever the case, there's often a lot of lessons learned that can improve planning for the next cycle.
That said, I ask: what do you wish would change about the way either your current or past team has done annual planning?
Some thought starters:
Share how you might improve annual planning! Tell us what you're experiencing!
*Please remember to be respectful when responding to each other's answers. What might not be difficult for some can be extremely difficult for others. This forum is intended to provide an outlet for those experiencing respective gripes AND for members to offer support for each other.
I looooove this line, @John Funk.
I don't think there is a good way to measure or a commitment to measure whether you actually stuck to your planning from the previous year.
Accountability is such a common miss. In the spirit of an iterative approach, using something like OKRs can help steer plans in different directions or course-correct existing plans aren't working. But how often are those changes happening when annual plans are sometimes fully baked?
You can't see my hands up in the air, but I'm vibing on your response.
I think its really important to actually engage - planning isn't just a tick box exercise, it should involve everyone and there should be regular (not annual!) reviews to ensure the plan is on track
This. This^! Annual planning is not a replacement for updating plans as you go along.
We should make laptop decals with this haha.
I understand the fiscal year in Spain doesn't correspond to Atlassian's fiscal year. As Solution Partners, we are trying to get aligned as much as possible to Atlassian, including the annual planning.
Regarding your questions:
Absolutely, @Huwen Arnone . We're big DACI fans here. But even knowing who should be a contributor vs an approver on specific workstreams can be a bit confusing because everyone wants to be an approver when it comes to planning hahah. But yes, we definitely document clear roles or else decision-making can be confusing.
As for whether plans match, yes, anything can happen, which is why it's so important to feedback into original plans. Because as you mentioned, something like COVID can derail everything.
I recently discovered the DACI approach in the #play-of-the-month stream, and I will push to implement it in my team asap.
It's good to be aware the Approver role must be the most disputed and generates confusion. I will have that into account when implementing it; if I get to do it, of course.
Thanks for sharing your approach to this!! 😊
Thanks for the post @Christine P_ Dela Rosa .
To be very honest, I am not a firm believer of Annual Planning.
I wish to reiterate, I understand the importance and art of planning but if that needs to be done Annually then it creates a different picture altogether.
I think it's a practice that have been followed for a long time and created a belief that it's essential but I think it requires at least a thought of revision and if that is also not achievable due to different constraints(like budget, resource allocations etc.) then we must start try to initiate discussions like this to find alternatives.
I think the major issue with Annual Planning with a mind that worked previously but not checking the ground reality with changes in nature in projects. If we see something going wrong for ages due to so called annual plan and still try to stick on that as it has worked in past then the rest is just history.
I wish to hear others also on this.
Love this. I do think Annual Planning is a legacy practice and that it can use updating. You're not alone. At Atlassian, we're beginning a new process that's closer to rolling planning. It's still early days but I can report back once we have more quarters to see how this change is going.
Curious is anyone else out there has an alternative to Annual Planning.
Glad to hear about the rolling planning @Christine P_ Dela Rosa . I would be eager to know more.