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#140 Plans, Implementation-Matrices, and Papers (PIMPs)

March 5, 2012

Submitted by SB

Real EAWs know that matrices rule.

SDPs, SMEDP, PRSPs, SIMs, SAMs, CSPs, WPs, NPs – if there is one thing that Expat Aid Workers love giving acronyms to, it is a deliverable – deliverable of course being code for 312 pages of regurgitated Econ 101 notes mixed with a healthy dash of a CIA Factbook and topped with some World Bank frosting.

However, since a document titled “regurgitated frosting report” isn’t likely to please the principals who just shelled out $200,000 for your three-week project, the crafty EAW comes up with better names, such as “strategic development plan,” “poverty reduction strategy paper,” or “strategy implementation matrix”.

The combinations of potential (and actual) document names are virtually infinite, as long as something in the title suggests that the document is strategic.  Having an outcome paper from yet-another seven-figure economic planning summit that is titled “Long-term strategic planning and implementation strategy for sustainable growth and development objectives plan”, or the LTSPISSGDOP, is the sure sign of an EAW job well done. While plans are great, and provide the necessary grand framework, matrices are even better when it comes to implementation.  Nothing optimizes strategic output efficiency like a matrix.Need to deliver 100,000 doses of vaccine to a rural population?  BOOM – Matrix – Done.  Need to streamline trade-policy for that upcoming PTA negotiation?  Doesn’t even make the Matrix blink.  Need to reverse global warming, double the literacy rate, and achieve annual real GDP growth of 250%?  Matrix finished that and made your coffee before you woke up.  In fact the Matrix so powerful at implementing things that one might even think it is some sort semi-conscious force that is controlling all of our destinies.  Take the blue pill.

Sometimes though, the EAW, or her principals, does not want to commit to being bound by a plan.  That’s a good idea, because once adopted, plans always and everywhere are irrevocable and fully-carried out to the last detail.  But fear not – the ever resourceful EAW has a deliverable just for you – the “Paper.”  What “the paper” implies, or how it is different from a plan, is not well understood.  It’s kind of like a muppet.  Not quite a mop, not quite a puppet, a bit nebulous.  However, what a paper can do, like Joseph’s amazing outerwear, is come in many colors.  White-paper, green-paper, blue-paper or puce-paper, the EAW has you covered.  The difference in paper-color is largely dependent on whatever is currently over-stocked at Office Depot.  Just don’t ask for goldenrod – that’s 10 cents extra.

The holy grail of all EAW deliverables is the “non-paper.”  Not printed on some kind of anti-matter papyrus this nocument is so elusive and nebulous that the EAW, and his or her principal, can deny its very existence.  This is an excellent place for all of the policy prescriptions, budgetary measures, and coup d’etat plans that would, you know, make a difference.  Once placed in a “non-paper” the ideas are locked away in a vacuum of perfect plausible-dependability.  “Oh my idea to keep the President from granting his son a monopoly on selling lead-tainted milk supplied by his uncle? That was in a non-paper, so that was never meant to be circulated, cited, read, or survive contact with the Earth’s atmosphere, so clearly I can’t be held accountable for that.”  In fact non-papers are so dangerous that it has been foretold that if all of the ideas in non-papers were released at once, under-development itself could be destroyed.

So next time your assignment calls on you to produce a deliverable, remember your PIMPs and you’ll be just fine – and tell your principal you’ll get the Final Understanding Coding Key from the Official Financial Forum finished up just as soon as possible.

Update: Don’t miss: Return of the Task Force: The Rise of the Matrix by our favorite cartoonist @manucartoons

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 6, 2012 7:35 pm

    I just find virtually every post here, brilliant:)

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