There are so many things I want to accomplish this year but I know if I don’t lay out a careful plan, few of them will happen. My years in business have taught me that the goals I set today become realities tomorrow but only IF I plan the steps it takes to make it happen. It’s hard work! You have to take the time to create the underpinnings that bring them to fruition. That’s why company retreats make so much sense. If you have a team they all have to get on the same page. It takes sitting down and thinking through what is needed. It takes asking, “What is missing?” It requires knowing what tools have to be in place. And then, the most important piece of all is creating a timeline – calendaring each item as a project and determining a deadline.
How will you attain your goals?
Think of strategic objectives in terms of tangible outcomes with quantifiable measures of success. Strategic objectives are the broad strokes – the guiding outposts you follow to achieve your goals. Writing down your overall objectives, and then developing the tactics you will implement, including calendaring, provides you a blueprint to follow from which you determine your day-to-day activities. For objectives, focus on output, not on engagement.
First, ask yourself, “Where are we now?” Analyze your current situation – do a SWOT Analysis.
- What are we doing that is working? (Strengths)
- What are we doing that is not working? (Threats)
- Has anything changed in our environment? (Positive or negative)
- What challenges lie ahead? (Positive or negative)
- Where can we shine? (Opportunities)
- What’s missing? (Gaps)
Then, set your strategies to close any gaps that may exist. Now, define the strategies you will use to reach your goals. Draw from the following areas: Marketing, Sales, Technology, Human Resources, Financial Resources, Operations, or others
After the strategies are clear, you are ready to identify tactics for each strategy and put timelines into place.
- Define each Tactic (3-5 maximum for each of the areas) – once they’re accomplished you can move to the next step and define new tactics.
- Determine Who is going to be responsible for overseeing the work to be done – your marketing person, CTO, yourself.
- Then refine What has to be done – take the time to be specific.
- Add the deadlines – By When – make them measureable.
- Give yourself a reason Why you are even doing this, what strategy is being supported – each person in charge feels more fulfilled when the purpose is clear.
- Identify the Results Expected based on the measurements you defined.
- Finally, state the Impact in $$ – will there be revenue as a result or only costs incurred during this phase.
The last step is to create a chart that clearly spells it all out and make it a working document. Check in regularly with those beside yourself to be sure progress is being made. Check in with yourself, too!
Ideally, you will update the chart on a quarterly basis, repeating the entire process over again, continuing with strategies that work , replacing those that do not, identifying and quantifying tactics.
I want to see you be wildly successful. Don’t cut corners. I facilitate retreats and planning sessions so you can get where you want to go! Contact me at 773-957-8582 or email Gail@GailZelitzky.com. My mission is your success.