Those of us who play Tennis don’t usually think about process. However, we usually have a game plan.
I am a strong believer in ‘plan the work, work the plan’.
So, what is a Tennis game plan? It is a list of the activities [a process] that I can do that give me the best chance to win the match. In business, the process moves from an idea to a product or service to a happy customer [revenue]. In tennis, the process moves from an idea of how to win the match to executing those activities with the results being winning the match.
Just like in real life, game plans differ for each player. Different players have different skill sets. If I don’t have good control over my serve or can’t hit it at 140 mph, it would not be a good strategy to hit 25 aces. There are some days where that isn’t even a good strategy for Andy Roddick who can hit 140 mph serves.
Still, the game is complex enough that I shouldn’t take on the extra task of deciding my strategy as the game is happening. I should have a plan in mind before I start the match and work that plan until I win or it fails. If it is failing into the 2nd set, I will move to plan B. A popular plan B is to hit each shot as hard as you can.
Being a recreational tennis player, I have found that plan B usually won’t result in the win. I found successful execution of my game plan to be the key to winning tennis.
In business, plan A is your initial process. Just like in Tennis, you believe your business process [plan A] will get you the win [happy customer/revenue]. You will only change it if it is not working or if it could work better. Still, execution is just as important in business as in tennis.
Let’s say you see your plan A could work better. You will move to plan B – in business terms, we call this process improvement. And, you will likely always be creating your next plan – one that you hope is better than the existing one.
That is just my opinion and I could be wrong.