2024 Annual Planning Process Step 4:
Annual Process Planning: Create Quarterly Action Plans
Now that you have created the proper context confirmed your strategy, and envisioned a successful year together, you are ready to discuss the details of your execution plan for the next twelve months. You must consider and agree upon four components to the Annual Plan.
Targets - Set the measurable results you want to achieve this year. This should include Revenue and Profit targets and could also include other targets like Market Cap., Number of Employees, Number of Customers or Number of Locations. Choose a handful of targets that are strategic and meaningful to your company.
Theme/Main Focus - Next, agree on the main main thing the company must focus on this year. What barrier do you need to break? What Winning Move must pay off this year? Maybe this is the year to really focus on your company’s culture. It could be anything. The idea is to identify one overarching theme for the year that you are confident will drive your business forward. Creating this kind of a “rally cry” will help people remember those things you know are most important throughout the year.
3-5 Annual Initiatives - Now comes the hard work of prioritizing and choosing 3-5 specific Key Initiatives you will commit to completing this year. The right Key Initiatives will support your ability to achieve the Main Focus, hit your Targets, move forward on your Winning Moves, and execute your core business excellently. To identify your Key Initiatives, refer back to your work in the first three steps: Lessons from the Prior Year, Start, Stop, Keep ideas, Opportunities and Threats, Strategic Decisions, Winning Moves, and the Destination Postcard. Based on all of this, what are your Top 3-5 Key Initiatives for the company this year? In addition to identifying these Key Initiatives, you must assign an owner for each, determine the Red-Yellow-Green success criteria, and map out the sequence and timing of major milestones for each initiative.
Q1 90 day action plan - Now you are ready to get to work. Either as the last section of your Annual Planning Session or in a separate meeting, take the next step in your Plan Rhythm and create the execution plan for the first quarter. Just like the Annual Plan, the Quarterly Plan should include a Main Thing, 3-5 Top Priorities that can be achieved in a 90-day period, owners and Red-Yellow-Green success criteria for each Priority.