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Enlightened Planning Book

Practitioner Endorsement

I was asked for a practitioner endorsement for Chris Chapman’s latest book ‘Enlightened Planning’.   This was an honour to provide and allowed me to acknowledge the influence and guidance that Chris’s work and teachings have had on my development as an analyst and practitioner. The endorsement of the book can be read below and in the book synopsis; however here on the website I have more space to explain influences and synergies with Chris’s work in more detail through  a series of posts.

I will also be offerring training on the Enlightened Planning approach [download information].

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EP Endorsement

'Comments by Colleagues'


I have been an independent consultant for a decade, building on an earlier decade of experience, initially in business development in the IT and Telecoms industry, then as a project management consultant with Bombardier Transportation and the Sweett Group. My growing interest in risk and uncertainty led me to Chris’s publications in the early 2000s and I took part in his 2006 International Project Management Association ‘Managing Project Risk & Uncertainty in New Ways’ Advanced Training Course in Copenhagen. This course and subsequent reading of his publications have been a key influence in my development as a ‘reflective practitioner’ – with many of the methodologies and approaches being applied, with success and benefit, in my client assignments. Particularly important was an appreciation of how to get beyond seeing ‘risk’ in terms of independent events, treat interdependencies effectively, and meet the challenges involved in persuading clients’ personnel conditioned by simplistic approaches to change their approaches.


The ‘enlightened planning’ perspective explored in this new book involves deep thinking about strategy, uncertainty, complexity and implementation, with considerable attention to perspective and some philosophical aspects.  However, this new book is also rich in simple tools and practical concepts and mantras that help with the ‘how to do it’ and 'craftsmanship' associated with planning and analysis in new ways. I fully anticipate using all aspects when faced with challenging problems. My favourite new concept is ‘closure with completeness’. The basic underlying ideas have always been there in the approaches Chris has advocated, but they are now brought together, made explicit, and named. Closure with completeness gives a very concise plain English label and rationale for the inclusion of items such as an ‘allowance for unidentified risk’ in a project cost estimate. It also naturally prompts people to question whether the analysis addresses everything relevant.


This new book builds on a consolidation of an extensive research and consulting career, drawing on both successful applications of new ideas and some lessons learned the hard way. Reading this book from beginning to end was a serious challenge, but I expect to get large return on the time invested.

Stpen Cresswell. June, 2019.