I think that what people are experiencing here is a perfect illustration of my favorite quotes on planning:
“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything” - Dwight D. Eisenhower
"No plan survives contact with the enemy" - Helmuth Von Moltke
This is the problem that we face. We put all this effort into planning, and therefore expect our plans to go off without a hitch. We like our plans, and we do not want to see them fail. And often because of this we will keep going with a plan even though it is obviously failing.
The trick here is not to focus on the plan, but rather on the planning process. Good planning provides us with two things:
- A starting point to work from so that we are not standing around trying to figure out what to do
- A depth of knowledge so that we can react to how our plan is working and adapt it for success
This is where I think that the plans that are created using TP software are superior to any other plans out there, as you can adjust your plan on the fly and have the software figure out the best way to achieve it based on the current park conditions. My rule of thumb here is to only re-optimize if a plan starts to deviate significantly from schedule – after all, why fix something if it ain’t broke. However, based on what people have been experiencing recently I am beginning to think that regular re-optimization may be the way to go – your plan may initially be going well (especially if you RD), but after that the current park conditions may indicate that you will soon run into problems and an adjustment at that point might save you a lot of difficulty later on.