Snappy Shortcuts For Completing Your 2017 Plan

If you’re struggling with wrapping up your 2017 strategic planning, you’re not alone. A lot of the folks we’re working with representing organizations of all sizes and industries haven’t rolled out their 2017 strategic plans.

So, in the spirit of being practical and pragmatic we’ve collected a few approaches we’re practicing with our clients to move quickly through the planning process so their teams are aligned, pointed in the same direction, and coordinated in their actions.

Gather your leadership team, set aside some focused questions and work through these exercises:

Step One: Wrap up your performance for 2016!

Update actuals against targets. Were major goals or initiatives completed? Can you check off the supporting actions that have already happened? Earmark those goals and initiatives that will likely carry forward into 2017.

Step Two: Is Your Vision Still Relevant?

Does it paint a picture of where you still see your organization’s impact five years from now? Was there anything your organization learned or experienced that would influence it? If so, refine your vision with crisp, emotional, heartfelt-language that invokes passion.

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Step Three: Confirm Your Strategic Objectives

Do they capture the strategic intent of your actions through 2020? Has anything shifted that requires you to refine or modify them? Are there any strategic areas of opportunity not recognized within your current objectives?

Step Four: Are Your Goals Still Relevant?

Do goals for each objective capture the strategic intent of your work through 2020? Has anything shifted, or was there new information received, that requires these goals to be refined or modified? Are there any strategic areas of opportunity not recognized within your current goals? If so, it’s time to refresh the goals for 2017.

Step Five: Set Expectations for Department Planning and Stick To It

With vision, strategic objectives, and organization-wide goals refreshed and refined for 2017 it’s time for departments to align to them and for departments to cascade their own respective initiatives and actions accordingly. Departments can either design their own supporting goals, or jump right into supporting initiatives and actions. Provide each department with clear guidance regarding format, structure, and expectations to support their departmental planning efforts. It’s important everyone is speaking the same language and will mitigate a cobweb of planning components to weave into your corporate-wide plan.

These five steps really are the bare-bone essence of rolling over your 2016 strategic plan and getting a 2017 plan in place so there’s less time designing and more time executing.

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