Gareth wrote a fantastic post last month on the idea of Minimal Viable Planning. If you haven’t read it, and you are a planner, you should, as this is probably a pretty good indiction of the way planning is going to move if it’s going to remain valuable moving into the future.
It’s about doing the minimum amount of work needed to get to, or inspire, an idea. It’s about cutting down the waste – things like deliberating adjective soup and brand vegetables for 3 months.
It’s about generating hypotheses that can be tested, not sitting in an ivory tower with a damp towel on your head waiting for the answer to appear like divine inspiration.
It’s about making stuff that can be tested in the real world, not running weeks of focus groups to hear people talk about how they think they think or might behave.
It’s about making as few charts as possible to explain a strategy or idea – get to the work
It’s about understanding that strategy has to evolve and morph over time (whilst being aware there’s a danger that this could become an excuse for superficiality).
It’s a bias to doing over thinking.
It’s about doing stuff to learn stuff.
It’s more like experimentation than planning as we know it.
But if things are going to go this way, it’s going to have to involve planning moving away from being the publishing arm of the agency, moving away from clumsy syndicated data in favor of data gathered from real people who are interacting with the real things that brands are doing, and getting away from writing client facing decks about the work that the creative teams never see.