The Six Steps to Overcome the Challenges with the Annual Strategic Plan 

Change the inert and static strategic plan into a living, breathing and rolling plan that is always up-to-date, aligned, adaptive, and accountable.  

  • Step 1: Illustrate how the business creates value.  At my company, Execution360, we like to start with a flow chart. Keep it simple, clean, concise, and coherent.  A flow chart will begin the process of understanding your enterprise visually.

  • Step 2:  Think about the key metrics (for example revenue, profit, customer satisfaction, marketing success, close rate, team skills, systems, etc.) that you can use to map out how the organization works. Then score the organization on each metric (Green=good, Yellow=ok, Red=poor). Be quantitative where possible and qualitative where needed.

 

  • Step 3: Write down the high-level business goals, short and long term. Consider first the mission/vision of the enterprise. Ask the questions that need to be answered, for example, what are the goals that if achieved will deliver on that mission? 

 

  • Step 4: During this step, you want to identify the objectives that if achieved will deliver on the goals. Before you write them down, look at the flow chart and the performance of each metric. Which metrics are most important, and what objectives will help improve the performance of those metrics?  The objectives should be a combination of what will deliver on the goals and what will improve the key metrics. If possible, score the objective based on the metrics that affect it. 

 

  • Step 5: Create the projects and tasks that will deliver on the objective. Examples of questions that need to be explored.  To create accountability, make clear who is in charge of each project and task and when it should be completed by.

 

  • Step 6:  On a periodic and as-needed basis, update the scores and ranking of the metrics and see how it is affecting the objectives. To keep the plan, current, a good rule of thumb is to review at minimum twice per month.  Continue to review the results; are the projects and tasks effectively advancing the objectives?  At my company we developed technology to automate this step

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