Planning for Failure
Posted by Corelin
Planning requires a lot of skull sweat. Believe it or not the actions you take in-game, the fleet doctrines, the tactics, the logistical chain that supports you, all of it, requires a lot of planning, not just seeing something neat on the forums.
S I L E N T. kind of mastered one particular sort of bad planning. They came up with very good plans that they didn’t have the resources to execute. I have a favorite saying “So many great plans have to be abandoned because they just don’t work.” It certainly applied to S I L E N T.
Planning is a poorly understood process. First you have to do a survey of your assets and capabilities. What you can and can’t do makes up a big part of the process. An entity with 60 highly skilled veterans with a wide variety of ships has an entirely different toolbox than an alliance with 200 relatively inexperienced pilots.
Second you have to take a serious look at your likely opposition. It doesn’t have to be a first-rate intel assessment, but you should really know what fleets they like to bring. A slow, short ranged BS fleet doesn’t make much sense if your opponent flies fast, long range sniper gangs.
Third you have to develop plans that will actually work. You have to find a combination of things that your guys can do, things that will work against the enemy, and that retain the versatility to work against random pass-through roams. This can involve HUGE amounts of work, and any mistakes in steps one and two can utterly ruin your planning. Thinking you can get 10 logis and 40-50 Tier 3 BCs looks great for an alpha fleet. When you get 6 and 22 it doesn’t work. At all.
Fourth you have to disseminate the plan to the people who are going to execute it. Ideally without handing the keys to the kingdom to your opposition. This is the biggest challenge when it comes to tight-rope walking in EvE leadership. Your
flunkies, erm… minions… PILOTS have to have enough information to execute any plans you come up with fluidly in challenging circumstances, but anything you give out can be leaked.
Fifth you have to constantly be updating all along this chain. You have to recognize changes in your capabilities and your opponents, update your plans and pass them on, another form of the OODA loop I’ve been harping on lately. Planning never ends, good entities have people constantly looking at each step in in the process, determining what adjustments need to be made and when to introduce a new doctrine.
Without a good and consistent planning process nothing can get going, and even success can’t be sustained. Alliances that win sov do it with sustained, skilled drives, alliances that consistently fail miss one of the first 3 steps, alliances that balloon and then collapse tend to either overachieve or not follow the final step. You don’t have to do everything perfectly, you do have to do it all to some extent.