Setting Your Annual Plan Up for Success

By Tiffany Chepul

    Sun, Jan 19, 2014 @ 12:00 PM Annual & Quarterly Planning, KPIs & Dashboards

    Another busy Annual Planning season is coming to a close - phew!  The most frequently asked question I received from clients this year was "How do we make sure we are on track to achieving our Annual Plan if we aren't statusing it every week?"

    For those of you using Rhythm (or an excel spreadsheet) to post weekly status on your Quarterly Plan, this question seemed to be top of everyone's mind!  The answer is in the planning methodology. When you went through Annual Planning, you set targets (KPIs) for the year and 3-5 Annual Priorities. You want to make sure those cascade down into your Quarterly Plans. 

    First, start with your KPIs.  Look at your targets you set for the year - revenue, margin, profit, # of deals, etc. Make sure you have each one of those recorded as a Q1 KPI with goals set for Q1,Gazelles Systems Annual Planning and make sure they are SMART (specific, measurable, realistic, attainable & timely).  For example, if you have a revenue target of $20M for the year, you should have a KPI for Q1 that has a Green target around $5M (or whatever figure is realistic for your business and keeps you on track to your $20M).

    Next, talk through what needs to happen in the next 90 days to move each one of your Annual Priorities forward.  Use the Annual Plan Tool to rough out your year first.  There might be some Annual Priorities that require lots of energy in Q1, while others might not need to be started until Q2 or Q3.  As part of your Quarterly Planning Session, determine the 3-5 Company Priorities and each person's 3-5 Personal Priorities - some of which will support the Annual Plan.

    Every quarter, you will revisit your Annual Plan as part of the quarterly planning process.  Evaluate where you are with each Annual Priority. Discuss what needs to be done in the next 90 days. Set Quarterly Priorities to support those efforts.  Evaluate where you are with each of your KPIs,  and update the success criteria for those for the next quarter as well.

    Now all that's left is weekly execution.  At this point, everyone will be aligned to the Annual Plan through proper planning.  KPIs and Priorities will be clearly defined for the company and each person.  Solid Weekly Meeting habits of holding everyone accountable to the plan is the final step. 

    If you follow these simple planning and execution rhythms, you will always be executing on your Annual Plan.


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