How to Plan Like a Marine

While the U.S. Marine Corps like to think they invented modern soldiering, their real secret it to do basics really, really well. In the military world this means planning and communicating as well as fire and movement.

I was taught the combat orders as a way to analyze, plan, communicate, and evaluate execution of a project (aka mission), except we called it battle procedure. It’s been standard operating procedure in NATO since the 1960’s, and likely has a history going back further than that. It’s a good way to organize your thoughts, analysis, and intentions. Especially if your organization struggles with communications or getting everybody aligned around a company vision. It’s re-producible all the way from the team level to the board-room

HBR has a good summary of battle procedure in their current issue set around leadership lessons from the military.