Staying Connected to Your Annual Plan All Year

By Tiffany Chepul


dateMon, Sep 18, 2023 @ 09:00 AM

It’s that time again – back-to-school, pumpkin everything, football, and Annual Planning season! You and Staying Connected to Your Annual Planyour team are about to invest so much time, money, energy, and resources into determining the Annual Focus and initiatives for the year ahead. After the session, the real work begins, however. How do you stay connected to your plan throughout the year to ensure it finishes Green? It’s tough not to become distracted, especially if you are part of a fast-growing mid-market company. 

Here are a few tips from highly- successful Rhythm companies for maintaining strategic focus all year:

Calendar is King

Set your planning dates for the entire year now. Don’t succumb to the tyranny of the now this year. Make time and protect it on your calendar. You’ll need 2 days each quarter to determine your Quarterly Plan and set up your 13-Week Race. Don’t neglect that time – you’ll need it to evaluate progress on your Annual Initiatives and determine the next steps.

Make Connections

When you enter your Annual Plan in Rhythm, link your Annual Initiatives up to the Winning Moves they support, if appropriate. When you enter your Quarterly Plan, link your Team Priorities up to the Annual Initiatives they support. This gives everyone a visual reminder of how each Priority is there for a reason. Each Priority fits into the bigger picture to ultimately support achieving your Annual Plan, Winning Moves, and ultimately, your BHAG

Targets = KPIs

When setting your Annual and Quarterly Focus (your Main Thing, Targets, and Critical Numbers) during planning, ensure those metrics become KPIs someone owns and statuses every week. There is no point in setting a financial target during Annual Planning if you aren’t going to keep an eye on it all year. If you are using Rhythm, monitoring those Targets as KPIs is easy. When adding a Target, you can use an existing KPI or add a new one, and Rhythm automatically creates a Dashboard for you to discuss these numbers with the team.

Status Annual Initiatives

If you own an Annual Initiative, get in the habit of statusing it at least once a quarter – preferably during quarterly planning preparation. Be reflective and thoughtful and really evaluate the status of that Annual Initiative. Is it on track? Did you hit any roadblocks? Select a status color and put a comment on it so everyone else knows what going on with it, too. 

Good luck with your upcoming Annual Planning sessions – make it your anchor for a successful year!

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Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images  

Tiffany Chepul


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images