Friday, September 7, 2007

First Evaluate the People in Business Plan

First evaluate the people in the business plan

Business plans carry lots of information starting with the idea, followed by whole lot of things on money, technology, methodology, timelines et al. People are not given the prominence and are treated as one more aspect to be covered. However, in my view the foremost need in a business and thus the business plan is the people who are going to own the business from planning to execution. Mind you not parts of it like sales.

In order to assess a business plan one should evaluate the people who are going to manage the business. Show me the people who are going to running a business plan first and then the business plan. The people who are going to run or execute a business plan are more important and the the deciding factor compared to the others i.e. those numbers, excel sheets and ppts.

If we can assess the people on their business acumen, commitment to the business or the alignment to the project, approach to the augmentation and deployment of knowledge and skills, ability to take a long term view, result orientation, attitudinal alignment of the people with that required for the business everything else will fall in place and things will happen.

Business plans are only that - plans. They are drawn on assumptions of the future context. The future contexts will change. Only thing which keep the idea going will be the people who run or own the project. The right people will appreciate changes and keeping in view the long term goals, make changes to the plans and make the desired results happen.

I used to see in the companies I worked that guys will go and sell to the customers projects with their ppts and other information. Then when the order comes there is chaos. No talent will be available. Extreme pressures will come up. Some projects die. Customers feel let down. All because we did not put people in the front. I myself have learnt this from running an enterprise. I have come up with couple of ideas in the past. The ideas which, of course I felt were excellent, but were also acknowledged by others as being excellent. But then when it came to a point of take off I had to shelve the project because I did not have the people to make it happen.

Business plans should start with the people who are going to run the business. It should begin with saying A, B and C are going to run this business. Give details of A, B and C. They should be allow to express themselves on the business plan.

If we have the right people even if the plan is wrong the business will make it.
If we have the wrong people even if the plan is right the business will not make it.

Lets put people first in the business plans.