#pmngt socialises change and starts planning with backcasting

Summary in the #pm_ngt story so far

#pm_ngt has three strands: start early by describing and delegating the end-state as a ‘future history’, ensure escalation is as well handled as delegation and care for the tramua caused by non-negotiable change.

If this summary was too terse skip back to the July 2nd post and read onwards from there.

Socialising change

The processes for the creation of RE®s (there is more than one way) starts people along the path towards evaluating and then accepting or rejecting change. People generally travel a well worn path: Shock, Anger, Resistance at the start and then either Acceptance and Helping (SARAH) or Rejection and Exit (SARRE).

D4’s REs allow people to explore how to achieve the RE’s binary test well before solutions are arrived at so people have a long time to overcome the Shock of change. Plus the socialisation step in the REs evoluton from identification to being baselined allows people to imagine and feel the future. The unfamiliar becomes familiar, the “Oh NO.” becomes “but maybe…” and eventually “that means we could…”

By sharing REs early people have the chance to adapt slowly and if change is too overwhelming for them they can make their exit arrangements.


The power of REs derives in part from their help in  visualising future events before they have happened (recall; word REs using phrases like “…I see …”) . When-ever we visualise an end point we can identify the significant pre-requisites to that RE. Each crucial ‘must-achieve’ to reach the RE is a tipping-point on the way to tomorrow. Tipping-points can normally be identified as arising from a few key achievements (milestones) which arise from identifiable actions and so on back to today’s staus quo.

Back-cast plans are typically simple and deterministic with just a few levels of detail between today and the required future. When plans are driven backwards from a required end they produce the minimum necassary path to the objective. When that path is “obviously impossible” then just as obviously we must look for a practical alternative until concensus arises that each RE is achievable within constraints from the resources controlled by those involved in defining it.

When the steps to achieve the REs are widely agreed to be achievable within the skill, will and resource of those people who will baseline it’s inspection test, inspection date, content and location then a public commitment is made that the RE’s achievement is no longer negotiable (in contrast the actions to deliver REs are never baselined and are dispensed with as soon as they are shown not to achieve the RE’s now non-negotiable delivery within constraints.


Defining REs has many purposes: it socialises the change for people to become familiar with, to influnce its content and arrive at the “Helping” phase of their journey and it provides the anchor point to back-cast our plans from.


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