Strategic Quarterly Planning Made Easy: Unlocking Success with AI

By Jessica Wishart

Quarterly Planning

Anyone who has ever participated in a strategic planning session knows it’s a lot of hard work. You have to prepare well, have tough conversations, make strategic decisions, capture the outputs in clear, easy-to-communicate formats, and attempt to capture the ROI on the time spent doing all of this by actually implementing those decisions.

To get the most out of your next strategic quarterly planning session, you need a smarter, easier way to plan so you can focus your time on having critical strategic discussions, not on sweating the details. Our AI Business Coach is here to help.

First of all, please don’t imagine that using AI to create a plan is a substitute for using your brain… it’s more like a super smart assistant who can help keep you on track with what needs to get done, polish up your rough ideas into clear, actionable goals, suggest meaningful success criteria, and check to ensure you haven’t left out anything vital.

Here’s how our AI toolset can help you create the best possible quarterly plan for your business:

Leverage “Ask Patrick” to brainstorm ideas

For quarterly planning, you are typically revisiting your Annual Plan to help you figure out where to focus for the next 90 days. We can sometimes get stuck on ideas that we thought were good months ago but haven’t been panning out, or sometimes we get blindsided by new challenges or opportunities. This can be tricky to navigate on your own.

Prompting our AI Coach with specific questions like “How can a medical device company increase our profit margins in the next 90 days?” or “What are the top 10 ways to increase employee engagement?” can generate new ideas for what to do next to move your annual strategy forward. 

You can also ask for tips on improving your quarterly focus or clarifying elements of your strategic plan. “Ask Patrick” is great at offering suggestions on how to break down larger goals into smaller milestones, offering examples of goals for similar companies or challenges, and just bouncing ideas around to play a little and maybe get inspired.

You can interact with Ask Patrick in your preparation for planning or pull it up during your session. Be careful with using “Ask Patrick” for any specific questions where the accuracy of the information is critically important. Specific inquiries about things like the size of the staffing market in the US may be directionally correct but factually inaccurate due to the nature of generative AI. Ensure you are verifying and fact-checking any information of this nature.

AI Business Coach Goal Setting

Use our AI coach to write better goal names

Once you’re to the point in your planning process when it’s time to actually decide on the top 3-5 priorities for the team to focus on for the quarter, many teams are tired from the discussions. It’s tempting at this point to capture the general idea and move on.

However, reaching alignment on the specific goal you are planning is crucial; if you leave the plan in general terms, how can you expect the rest of the company, who doesn’t have the context of your discussions, to understand it? 

Using Rhythm’s AI Business coach to suggest clear goal names allows you to save the time and brainpower of crafting a well-written goal. Save your brain to figure out what needs to be done, and use AI to write it in a clear and specific way.

Our AI Coach also helps people who are new to Rhythm add goals without bogged down in deciding whether it’s a KPI or Priority or Winning Move. If you type in what your goal is, the coach will suggest options for each type and classify your goal for you based on what you pick.

SMART Goals with AI Goal Goach

Use our AI coach to suggest clear success criteria 

A key component of our Rhythm strategy execution system is setting Red-Yellow-Green success criteria for each goal. Specifying Red-Yellow-Green criteria is essential to executing flawlessly on your plan. Even with a well-written goal, without clarifying the expected outcome for success (Green), you are leaving room for misunderstanding, misalignment, and frustration.

People are used to thinking of goals as Done or Not Done; our process leads to better results by clarifying what “done” means before the doing starts. Establishing this upfront is a huge gift to the team. However, it can be a tricky concept to grasp for people who are new to it, especially for goals that aren’t numbers-based.

Our AI Business Coach makes it easy by suggesting Red-Yellow-Green success criteria for you. While it may not always be right on target, it’s easier to edit than create from scratch, so you can take the recommendations and make them work for your specific goals. This is a huge time saver in planning and can help you get unstuck and aligned more efficiently.


Use the Quarter Plan Tests to stress test your plan

Once the quarterly goals are written with Red-Yellow-Green success criteria, we don’t leave it at that and hope for the best. Our system will run checks on your plan to ensure it passes the tests to be execution-ready. The 4 tests proven to help with successful plan execution are:

  • Focus test
  • Alignment test
  • Financial test
  • Accountability test

Our software automatically checks your plan and alerts you to any potential gaps that may indicate your plan is at risk of failure, and you get this warning before it’s too late. You can make small adjustments to your plan to increase your chance of success.

quarterly plan AI test

We’re excited to help you build your best quarterly plan yet with the assistance of our AI tools. With your brains on the business, and our AI goal setting smart coach buttoning up the details, you are on the path to achieving more of your goals than ever before!


Take Our Strategy Execution Test


Read Through These Additional Resources to Learn 

More About Using AI For Planning: 

OKR AI: How Artificial Intelligence Can Help You Achieve Objectives and Key Results

AI Goal Setting: Harness the Power of SMART AI-Goal Software Coach in 2023

How to Close Out a Quarter 

Sharing Quarterly Plans Across Departments

How to Stress Test Your Quarterly Plan (Video)


Jessica Wishart


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images