What Is Poor Annual and Quarterly Planning Costing Your Company?

By Jessica Wishart

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Your annual and quarterly planning sessions are expensive. Let’s do a little exercise:

  • Based on their salaries, write down the hourlyannual planning 2.jpg cost of having your executive team in a room together for 2 days.
  • Calculate any travel expenses, meals, meeting spaces, etc. involved in bringing the team together. Write this number down, too.
  • If you hire a facilitator for planning, write down that expense.

When you add those numbers together, you have an idea of what you are investing each year in Annual and Quarterly planning sessions. Chances are, it is a significant investment. Now, consider the impact of those planning days. 

Just think about one of your top strategic initiatives for the next year or even the next 3-5 years. What would it cost you if it doesn’t get done? What’s the potential revenue impact? What’s the cost of wasted time and resources working on a strategy that doesn’t pan out? Now, that’s just one initiative—you’re probably working on a handful (or more) of important strategies. You can see how the cost of not planning well could easily cost your company millions of dollars or more.  

The cost of poor planning doesn’t end with the opportunity cost of not executing a carefully crafted strategic initiative. 

Consider these impacts, as well:

  • Lack of long-term strategy and direction will create confusion, lower productivity and decrease employee engagement. Your team needs to know the company's big picture goals and why the work matters to get you the maximum return on payroll.
  • Lack of revenue-generating Winning Moves will cause your growth to plateau. Your competition—who is taking the time to plan and work on strategy—will outpace you, customers may leave and opportunities will pass you by.
  • Lack of clear, execution-ready plans will result in miscommunication, failure to align resources and lots of wasted time and effort. Without a plan, you can’t be sure you are all working on the right things, and you may feel like you are working hard but just not getting anywhere.
  • Your quarterly plan forms the basis of your weekly meetings. Without a great quarterly plan, you won't be focused on having the right discussions each week, and your weekly meetings may seem frustrating or pointless.

When you look at it this way, the investment you are making in planning probably seems small in comparison to the value you are getting. But, if you come out of those sessions with anything less than a stellar strategy and concrete, realistic execution steps to get those strategies done, you haven’t maximized your investment.  Download our annual planning guide below, or visit our annual planning product page to learn more.  

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Jessica Wishart


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images