Lesson 1/Learning Event 1
in logical progression. This checklist simplifies periodic progress reviews and co-ordination; and when
material is completed, it can be sent to lower levels of command for use in their planning.
Phasing of planning tasks insures the completion of specific tasks in a logical sequence. Phasing
facilitates coordination of concurrent planning by different headquarters. The tasks should be analyzed
before they are phased. When phases are established, they should allow sufficient time for each level of
command to complete its assigned tasks and should provide for timely distribution of information to
subordinate units. Some overlapping of phasing is inevitable, however, because planning proceeds
concurrently. Frequently, a task in one phase of the planning sequence begins before some tasks in a
preceding phase are completed. For instance, a more or less complete, detailed plan may be prepared in
the preliminary phase before the formal directive has been received. The phases of planning in the order
in which they occur are the:
Preliminary phase. This phase is based on logical assumptions concerning future operations
or on knowledge of the tentative plans of higher headquarters that is available before receipt
of the formal directive.
Initial phase. After the directive is received, plans are initiated, based on limited information
and planning guidance. This phase includes preparation of staff and commander's tentative
estimates and tentative plans.
Preparation phase. Draft plans are prepared, based on more complete information, firm
planning guidance, and detailed estimates resulting in the commander's decision and his
concept of the operations.
Approval phase. The commander reviews, refines, and approves the plan.
Publication phase. The approved plan is published.
Execution phase. The publishing headquarters provides assistance to the lower levels in
completing their plans and in conducting rehearsals.
Determining guidance for the tasks of each specific mission is the fifth step in the planning sequence.
This planning guidance keeps all planners moving in the same direction at the same time. It facilitates
concurrent planning by providing the foundation for studies and estimates needed to develop outline
plans. The main sources of this guidance include: