Pedro Arantesrose

Reactive Planning Model

When a team starts a project without planning ahead, it's possible that the reactive planning model ensues.
Zettelkasten, June 06, 2021 (changes)


  • When a team starts a project without planning, the reactive planning model may ensue.

  • David Allen defined this planning in his book Getting Things Done.

  • It's a system mental model because it helps you understand how a project's execution works without upfront planning.

  • The phases of the reactive planning model are:

    1. Identifying next actions
    2. Organizing
    3. Brainstorming
    4. Outcome visioning
    5. Defining purpose and principles
  • Such phases aren't the natural way your mind operates because you try to do actions before organizing, before collecting many ideas, before creating the vision before defining purposes.

  • The team reacts to the situation instead of controlling it.

    • When stuff gets out of control, they act, word harder, get busier.
    • When having a lot of busy people, someone says, "We need to get organized!"
    • After some time, just organizing the problem isn't enough, and someone suggests, "Let's brainstorm!".
    • But the brainstorming isn't effective because they don't have a clear vision, purpose, and principles. Finally, they ask, "What are we trying to do here?" and start defining the last phase.
  • The opposite of this model is the natural planning model.


  • Which scenarios may we observe the reactive planning model?


RecommendationsDo you want to see all posts instead?
Natural Planning Model
It's the more effective way to think about projects and situations because it makes thinks happen sooner, better, and more successfully.
Zettelkasten, June 07, 2021
It's a situation where a group of people meets to think about a problem and try to have as many ideas as possible.
Zettelkasten, May 13, 2021
System Mental Models
System mental models are models that are used to help you understand how a system works.
Zettelkasten, April 23, 2021
From Reactive Planning Model to Natural Planning Model
Until some point, the project was manageable, but after some feature requests and bug reports, it became unfeasible. In addition, almost every bug fix or feature implementation broke other "uncorrelated" parts of the application. That slowed us down a lot because our client and his customers were using the software, and we had to rush to fix the new bugs (yes, we didn't have testing at that time).
Articles, June 16, 2021
Reading time: 5 minutes
Mental Models
Mental models are frameworks, worldviews, representations, or explanations of how something works. They're how we understand the world.
Zettelkasten, April 06, 2021
Distributed Cognition
It's a process of getting things out of your head and into objective, and reviewable format.
Zettelkasten, May 12, 2021
Goodhart's Law
It stands that a measure ceases to be a good measure when it becomes a target.
Zettelkasten, June 22, 2021


Every Tuesday, I publish my most recent readings and thoughts. Subscribe to my newsletter if you want to follow topics about #startups, #mental-models, #cryptocurrencies, and more. You can also check my past issues on Revue.

By subscribing, you agree with Revue’s Terms and Privacy Policy