Commentary by Commentary by Staff Sgt. Thomas Brick
332nd Expeditionary Contracting Squadron
10/11/2005 - BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AFPN) -- As a young Boy Scout sitting in a junior leadership training class, I was taught something that sticks with me to do this day. The subject was the Seven Ps: Proper prior planning prevents pitifully poor performance. This phrase ties in very well with our day-to-day mission here.
Being deployed to the desert puts us in the spotlight; we are the lead element of our Air Force. The Seven Ps should be utilized while deployed more than ever, because if we fail to properly plan here then the poor performance to follow could be the loss of life or multimillion dollar aircraft.
But the Seven Ps aren't just useful for the big things: they are useful in everyday operations and can make your job much easier. When any project comes to you, you should immediately set a plan in motion to not only get it accomplished, but to get it accomplished the right way.
We never should just slap something together and call it good. Field-expedient fixes are fine, but as soon as we get that fix in place we need to start planning to do it right and not just put it off. This goes back to our core value of “Excellence in all we do;” it is something that sets us apart.
This also applies to procedures and plans that were in place before we arrived. If you see something you know is not working well and causes problems, don't just shrug it off and say, "That is how we do it here," do something to change it.
As a Boy Scout, I was taught to leave a place better than I found it. That can mean simply cleaning up after yourself and what others may have left behind, or it could mean improving the place by making things work better. You can create a plan that makes your shop more efficient or solves a problem others have left behind.
Do you really want to deal with a field-expedient fix for some extended period of time? Do you want to just meet the minimum requirement of the mission without really accomplishing much?
Take advantage of your time to make your shop and your base better for you and those who will follow you by using the Seven Ps.
1/12/2012 1:10:46 PM ET An old British Army acronym I believe drilled into recruits in basic training. Except the fifth P isn't 'Pitifully'...
Big Irish Hair, London UK
1/25/2011 4:47:40 PM ET Prior planning sounds redundant to me. No one plans after the fact.