Planning is a key skill for leaders - it's one of those competencies you just have to have. In most cases a good plan will position you to get things done efficiently and effectively. It will also help you organize what and how you communicate.
But sometimes planning isn't particularly helpful. Some jobs are like shoveling snow: You just have to pick up the shovel and get to it.
Some instances when you may want to skip the planning step:
- When what is needed is obvious to everyone.
- When the job is labor -intensive and time is short.
- When there is no precedent. In those cases doing is often a more effective way to figure things out than thinking. Be sure to capture what you learn along the way.
The bottom line: If planning is going to cost you as much (in time, dollars, resources, opportunity) as it will gain you, skip it.
By the way, if you don't need to plan, it will do you and your team a lot of good if you pick up a shovel and start throwing snow.