Adaptive planning is a set of tools and processes for developing plans for solving complex, adaptive problems. Unlike traditional planning processes, adaptive planning keeps the focus primarily on the results you’re trying to achieve, with less time spent on creating detailed strategic plans.

The toolkit describes the three major steps in adaptive planning, providing specific processes and tools for implementing these steps:

  • Clearly defining the results : Articulating the ways the world needs to change, both small and large, to solve a complex problem.
  • Exploring the context and your assumptions :: Gathering external information or systematically mining your own thinking to surface deeper information to guide the planning, often information focused on mapping the current environment and sources of influence or forecasting the future environment.
  • Engaging in strategy and action planning : : Developing high level strategies for the longer-term, action plans for short-term work, and building in ways to learn and be adaptive over time.