Why Start at the End?
Many times, during the course of a project, the end-result seems so far away and impossible to reach. Through backward planning, one may be able to overcome this feeling and feel great and satisfied by completing each step in the process.
For example, if the project includes the installation of a machine in a factory, where would the process begin? On the other hand, if the team needs to work on its organizational structure, where would it begin?
In such cases, try using the simple yet powerful tool of backward planning. This tool helps achieve the same result as normal planning. The main advantage of using this tool is that it lessens the complications and causes less frustration, meaning high levels of project success.
The tool is also known as backward goal-setting and backward design and is often used in project management scenarios. It's also commonly used by educators. The idea is to start with the ultimate goal or objective and move backwards from there to develop the plan.
By doing so, a person can mentally prepare himself for success and map out specific milestones that need to be achieved. Additionally, this tool also allows someone to identify where he has to be energetic and creative in order to achieve the desired results in the plan.
The whole process of backward planning is similar to a presentation. During a good presentation, if the presenter informs you of the ultimate goal, it would be easier for you to understand and think critically about what is being presented. However, if you only come to know the aim of the presentation as it unfolds, you would be spending a lot of energy in just trying to keep up, leaving no room for critical thinking.