Chapter 3 introduces vertical focus and discusses how it is different than horizontal focus. Most of the time horizontal focus is all that is necessary to manage smaller projects. With horizontal focus you look across all your projects to ensure they are in check. Some larger projects require vertical focus. Vertical focus is used when you need to have more planning for a project due to its complexity and importance of outcome.
This chapter also discusses three planning models including: Natural Planning Model, Un-Natural Planning Model, and Reactive Planning Model. In Chapter 3 David also discusses what he calls back-of-the-envelope planning. He says this is the kind of planning you can do on the back of an envelope in a coffee shop with a colleague while hashing out the agenda and structure of a sales presentation.
I must admit I have struggled with Chapter 3. While everything in this chapter makes sense, it is very foreign to me. Why is it something I would plan so naturally, such as a backyard BBQ, seems so simple, yet planning projects at work is sometimes so complex? The simple answer seems to be I make it more difficult when it doesn’t need to be. The most interesting thing I am learning about any project is to simply ask myself, why. Why am I doing this project? Now that really does sound simple, but once you ask yourself that question and indentify your purpose, the natural internal planning process really does begin. So the next time you begin any project at home or at work, start by asking yourself why you are doing the project and take note of how your brain starts to naturally plan.