05 Mar What is Action Planning?
Some of our clients tell us they have worked with consultants on strategic planning processes before, which ended with a beautiful 100-page report that was promptly put up on the shelf and almost completely untouched 3 years later. Does this sound familiar? Working with small and mid-sized business owners has led us to believe a plan isn’t enough – what is needed is something actionable.
A business leader must be able to use the plan to set priorities, deadlines, and drive accountability across his or her teams. We know it can be challenging to take a high-level plan and “translate” it into next steps for the organization. Below is an Action Planning 101 guide to help you think through creating the next steps for your company and employees.
- Define priorities: Identify your strategic priorities and communicate these to the organization.
- Deadlines: Lay out timing for these key priorities (3 mo, 6 mo, 1 year, more)
- Define metrics: What does success look like at each of these time intervals?
- Work backwards: Determine which steps need to happen at which time to ensure you and your teams achieve that goal
- Assign owner(s): Decide who is responsible for each piece of the process and empower them to drive the process
6. Accountability: Develop performance review metrics and incentive structures that encourage your team to keep moving towards these goals