The Value of Planning

The value of planning in career progression.

In my first job, as a trainee maintenance engineer, my core duty was to just read the open job register in the morning and allocate resources to get the job done. Issue tools and new components from the store to a person who is supposed to do the repairs. Update what has happened in the workshop at 5:00 PM. Go home. 

Once I sign out for the day, there was nothing on my mind. I was free. Solving for the day is more fulfilling. There is a bliss that comes once you close the job because you don’t have to think about tomorrow. 

One day I issued an imported expensive ball bearing for a non-critical job. The following day my boss asked me, Alok, do you know how many days we have to wait for this bearing to arrive once we place the order? Do you know what will happen if you face a supercritical breakdown?

I was taken aback, am I not doing my job?

I was solving for the day. I hit the reset button in the evening.

The technicians were the happiest people. They solved for the hour. They wouldn’t know what their day will look like after the lunch hour. 

On the other hand, my boss solved for the week. “Alok, next Monday, please go and see the status of the newly installed pump at the water treatment plant” 

My skip level bosses solved for the month. “Next month we have an audit, let us prepare for the same”

When my boss used to share his insights during the monthly review meeting with the chief engineer, he talked about what will happen next year. Big changes, and shifts and how we need to get ready for the same. 

Every component in the execution chain is critical. But if you are thinking of career progressing, just reflect on

Are you solving for the hour?
Are you solving for the day?
Are you solving for tomorrow?
Are you solving for the month?
Are you solving for next year?

Your perceived value to the organization depends on the planning window that you are responsible for.

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