Warehouse Management Systems and the Natural Planning Model

WMS and the Natural Planning Model

What do Warehouse Management Systems and the Natural Planning Model have to do with one another?

As you may or may not know, the Natural Planning Model is David Allen’s 5 Phase Model of how your brain naturally works through planning (this blog post from the Getting Things Done website illustrates an example that might be easy to relate to for most). Essentially, the five steps include:

  1. Purpose
  2. Outcome
  3. Brainstorming
  4. Organization
  5. Actions

David Allen explains that we use this natural planning model very well most of the time for the small events in our lives (this 4 minute audio explanation uses going to dinner as an example) but we tend to ignore this model for the larger, more important projects.

Here’s where we bring WMS back into the discussion. Many times, depending on background and other experiences, companies find software projects very daunting and miss following something like the natural planning model, which could really help to get a handle on their initiatives. Here’s something to help get you started if you’re thinking about selecting or implementing a WMS:

  1. What is the purpose or intent for the WMS in your organization?
  2. What does your organization want the outcome of the WMS implementation to be?
  3. What are the different solutions available? What are the different functions we want in a WMS? What’s a need and what’s a nice-to-have?
  4. How will we approach this WMS project? What should the team look like? Do we need outside assistance?
  5. What do we do next in our pursuit of a WMS?

These questions only scratch the surface of considerations for a WMS project and hopefully this was at least a start in giving you ideas of how to apply the model to a larger project like a WMS implementation. In addition to the natural planning model, you may find resources like the 7 Variables of WMS implementations helpful as you select, implement or upgrade a WMS.