Rhythm Software Ensures Your Quarterly Plan is Execution Ready

By Ryan Walcott

quarterly plan test

dateTue, Jan 15, 2019 @ 10:45 AM

Our Rhythm Systems consultants have worked for years to help management teams create execution quarterly plan testready quarterly plans to achieve their growth goals each quarter. This practice combines both art and science to analyze plans to ensure they are both practical and complete.

We learned over the years from analyzing patterns of hundreds of quarterly execution plans and built a quarter plan testing tool into our Rhythm strategy execution software. The Quarter Plan 4 Tests feature is just one of the ways we are analyzing execution plan data to help our clients create better plans to achieve their growth goals quarter over quarter, year over year to achieve predictable results.

Free Download Quarterly Planning Agenda

Here is what it does. The software analyzes execution plans to determine if they pass four key tests: Focus, Financial, Energy, and Accountability. The Rhythm software runs these tests in mere seconds, saving you valuable time and resources.

First the Focus Test:

  • Does the plan have a Main Thing (Theme)?
  • Is our Main Thing clear to everyone and supported by the Company Priorities?
  • Is each person's list of Individual Priorities 5 or less? Is anything on their lists out in left field? Teams should challenge each other's priorities to make sure no one is overloaded or focusing on things that aren't important to the Company Plan.
  • Are all Individual Priorities linked to the proper Company Priorities they support?
Rhythm Focus Test

The software analyzes your plan data to determine the answer to each of these questions. If any of these areas of the plan fail the test, the software provides an alert and links directly to the problem areas so that you can quickly and effectively fix the issues and make your plan better.

Next, the Financial Test:

  • If we successfully complete this plan, will we also achieve our financial goals? It seems like an obvious assumption to make, but we have seen companies successfully achieve every one of their priorities, and at the end of the quarter, tell us that it was a lousy quarter. It’s important to stretch the team and move the company forward every single quarter, but not at the expense of letting your core business suffer.
  • There are some basics that you just can’t take your eye off.
  • Make sure you have the right KPIs in place as part of your Quarterly Plan.
Rhythm Financial Test

Next, the Energy Test:

  • Do we have enough energy (Individual Priorities) focused on the #1 Company Priority?
  • Does each Company Priority have enough Individual Priorities driving it to achieve Green?
  • Is the bulk of the team's energy (Individual Priorities) focused on the Company Priorities instead of on their Day Jobs?
  • Look at your Company Energy Map to see this quickly. Is the team's energy deployed properly?
Rhythm Energy Test

Next, the Accountability Test:

  • Do all Priorities have clear Red-Yellow-Green (RYG) success criteria that everyone agrees on?
  • Do all the Due Dates make sense on priorities that are dependent on each other?
  • Do all KPIs have the correct Red-Yellow-Green (RYG) success criteria for the current quarter?
  • Is each Priority ready to be statused in a meaningful way for your next Weekly Team Meeting?
Rhythm Accountability Test

If your plan doesn't pass all four tests, reconvene the team and make some adjustments. It is best to slow down and do things correctly in Week 1 instead of realizing your plan wasn't the best in Week 10.
Free Consultation with a Quarterly Planning Expert


If you're interested in learning more about creating execution ready quarterly plans to achieve all of the goals set forth in your annual plan, you may like the following articles:

Value of Outside Facilitation for Quarterly and Annual Planning

The Anatomy of a Great Quarterly Plan (Infographic)

Quick Tips to Create SMART Goals (Infographic)

Lean Quarterly Planning: How Complex Companies Drive Out Waste

10 Tips for a Successful Quarterly Planning Session (Video)

How to Choose the Right Priorities During Your Quarterly Planning Session

Tips to Help You Prepare to Facilitate Your Next One-Day Quarterly Planning Session

How Much Time Should I Allocate for My Quarterly Planning Session?

The Definitive Guide to Quarterly Planning

Rhythm Systems Quarterly Planning Resource Center

Photo credit: iStock by Getty Images


Ryan Walcott


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images