You’ll hear it often; ‘Lets go to plan B’. Usually what this means is that everyone is in a panic, scrambling around to come up with a plausible action because the original plan has had to be abandoned. The irony is that often there is no plan B at all, and the Plan B is usually a variant of Plan A.
Good teams work on multiple plans simultaneously. You obviously have a Master Plan. This is the one that everyone understands and the one that you have been tasked to complete. If you want to be prepared and avoid running around in a panic when circumstances change (and they will). So good teams anticipate and run a ‘what-if’ plan. The ‘what-if’ plan is there so that you all know what you are going to do, when the ‘if’ happens. These changes can then happen smoothly, without panic, finger pointing, apportioning blame or delay.
There is probably not one ‘what-if’ plan, because there IS more than one ‘if’. What if the budget is halved ? What if the timescales change (usually adversely) ? What if the customer is unhappy ? As a team leader you probably know some of this instinctively. You know you really need to share them in an open discussion with the team and make them stakeholders in the what-if plans, document them and manage them ongoing.
Who needs a Plan B, when you have more than one Plan A ?