The 5 Ps: Achieving Focus in Any Endeavor

Charlie Kindel references this post awhile ago but wanted to make sure I recorded it for posterity. When most of us talk about business planning we think of it as a 20 to 40-page document that never again gets updated even though the business changes considerably. When Charlie talks about the plan, he is focused on a short, 1-2 page document that outlines the rules of engagement. He calls it the 5Ps and outlines them here:

  • Purpose: Why do we exist? Why are we in business? Where do we want to be in the future? What will we deliver?
  • Principles: What are the non-negotiable rules and key strategies? How will we act?
  • Priorities: What’s the framework for tradeoffs?
  • Plan: How are we going to stage and tackle solving the problems? What are the known dates & forcing functions on the calendar?
  • People: Who’s accountable for every key part of the plan?

We’ve been doing a variation on this as we work on a new product. It’s a tiny team so people is not as important for us, but I’ve spent time outlining the purpose, principles and priorities all in notes shared across the team.

I highly recommend reading the entire thing. Great way to do planning.