As we begin a new year, many of us use this time to launch new plans for ourselves and our businesses. It’s a time of renewal.
THE STRATEGIC PLAN – The first step for many businesses is updating or writing a new strategic plan for the year – a document that lays out the company’s goals and initiatives. It’s always done with the best intentions. People come together with fresh ideas for the coming year that they put together in a nice document. Unfortunately though, for many companies, the downfall comes in that the plan sits on the shelf until the end of the year, when it’s time to start the planning process again.
MANAGE AS PROJECTS– One of the things that we’ve implemented at Management Solutions that has proven to be very successful, is we come straight from our strategic planning session and we shift the next week to strategic execution. We come in, with the same players who were involved at our planning offsite, and go through all the projects identified in our plan and perform a business value analysis, prioritize the projects, and start managing those selected. We assign a project manager. We have project teams that are involved. We develop the scoping documents. We establish budgets with our CFO and our accounting folks. We prioritize the projects and develop schedules and timeframes that allow us to work on those projects throughout the year. As one set of projects is completed, the next set of projects roll in, so it’s a perpetual cycle throughout the year until all your initiatives are completed.
MEASURE SUCCESS, BE WILLING TO MAKE CHANGES – We’re constantly measuring how we’re doing on each of our initiatives and projects. Not only are we measuring our performance of executing the project, but we’re also measuring and tracking to see if we’re on par with where we need to go. You may find that something you thought was a great plan last year, isn’t so great now. Perhaps your demographics or your customer base has changed. Your competition could come out with something you had planned to do and it could be a significant failure, so you need to do some market analysis and decide if you still want to go down this path or perhaps, you should do something different. You also could pick up a significant customer that can change the trajectory of some of the things you’re doing. Lots of different dynamics and demographics can occur. To be most successful, you have to be in a continuous quality improvement mode and be willing to change course.
If you need help with the tactical side of your strategic plan, MSLLC would love to help.