Three tips to create an effective annual plan for your organization
We are at the start of 2020. The start of a new year, and also a new decade. This is a good time to list how you are going to work with strategic objectives. To help with this, we have mapped out how our customers have achieved or could achieve success in this. In this overview you can read roughly which different ways there are to draw up an annual plan and to implement it successfully.
How can you achieve your strategic objectives in an effective and efficient way, together with your enthusiastic colleagues? To achieve this, it is wise to draw up an annual plan. How do you ensure that this does not disappear in a drawer, and that it becomes a living plan that offers concrete handles to implement the strategy?
There are various options for performing this. It is in any case important that the annual plan:
1. establishes a clear connection from objective to approach and action.
2. creates ownership among team members.
3. stimulates agility and can be adjusted in time.
1. How do I get from objective to approach and action?
A good first step is to write a clear annual plan using the OGSM method (Objective, Goals, Strategies and Measures). With this method, the vision and strategy of your organization is translated into concrete actions and measurable results. This makes the strategy and the associated annual plan more tangible for all parts of the organization. Because it is clear how departments contribute to overarching organizational objectives, an OGSM creates more involvement within the organization.
2. How do I ensure that the team becomes the owner itself?
It is important that the OGSM remains embedded in the organization and that it is actually implemented. How can you handle this? Give the team space, direction and regularity. By letting teams think along and decide on the approach to objectives, you create involvement and responsibility within the organization. Management outlines the frameworks and determines the Objective, Goals and Strategies. Teams then formulate bottom-up, in an Agile manner, the Measures (action KPIs and actions) with which they themselves get started.
3. A flexible plan in a changing context
A continuously changing and complex environment often brings uncertainty, which can make it difficult to indicate an unambiguous direction for the entire year. In such an environment it is possible to get started with an Agile annual plan.
First of all, it is important that you always act on the basis of the vision and strategy for the long term; these indicate the overall direction. But how does it work when you have an annual plan, which no longer contributes to the vision or strategy due to a changing environment? There are a number of things that could happen:
a. a new annual plan/revision is written on the current annual plan;
b. they stick to the current annual plan because a deal is a deal; or – the most common in practice;
c. the annual plan is thrown in the trash and people work ad hoc for the rest of the year.
To prevent this, it is important that the annual plan can change flexibly, while still remaining in line with the organizational strategy.
In addition to OGSM, an Agile annual plan involves working cyclically in short, manageable periods such as quarters. Each period you establish 3-5 main points (quarter rocks) on which you will focus that period. For each quarterly rock you formulate 3 to 5 key results to be able to link concrete actions. The state of affairs is discussed on a weekly basis, so that requests for help can be asked in good time and where necessary adjustments can be made immediately. This makes the annual plan agile and everyone ensures that the organization remains on track to achieve its goals.