Planning for Everything
May 24, 2018
We can’t predict the future, yet we do it all the time. We organize events, trips, projects, days, weeks, and years. We plan to buy a home, build a career, survive cancer, learn to dance, teach a class, or get in shape. Our ability to model the world as it is and might be is a gift, but mental time travel is also really hard. Fortunately, since planning is a skill, everyone from playful improviser to rigorous planner can improve, and that’s the aim of this talk. Along the way, we’ll cover: The principles and practices of nonlinear planning. How to grow and sustain hope with willpower and waypower. When to pivot or persist with paths, goals, values, and metrics. How artificial intelligence is poised to transform what we plan. The relationship between planning and information architecture. If you hate planning, you’re doing it wrong. The uncertainty of change makes us crave chaos or control, but it’s as dangerous to be rigid as it is to move fast and break things. To organize the future, we will find better ways, because happiness is a prediction, and it’s also the freedom you feel upon realizing there is no one right way to plan.
Peter Morville is a pioneer of information architecture and user experience. He is best known for being an author of the “polar bear book” on information architecture. His latest book Planning for Everything is about the design of paths and goals. Peter has been helping people to plan since 1994. Clients include AT&T, eBay, Harvard, IBM, the Library of Congress, Microsoft, the National Cancer Institute, and Vodafone. Peter lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Knowsy.