Try something different. Try applying strategic planning in an agile framework. Start with a workshop in which the organization defines its future vision and strategy to achieve that vision. Subsequently, each strategy is then broken down into the tactics that will achieve each strategy. Plot the tactics across a timeline at its projected completion date. This creates a milestone map of what goal will be accomplished during each month.
The monthly planning session follows. This event identifies the goals for that month-long period. This mirrors the weekly planning session of what actions will take place during that week. Interlaced into this process reside periodic checkpoints throughout the year. These checkpoints manage progress in the form of quarterly self-assessments. In addition, it monitors monthly, weekly, and daily accountability progress checks while resolving issues.
First, the kickoff event of establishes a vision. Best practices include employing an external facilitator to guide the process. Incorporating a breadth of organizational members in the event. Lastly, applying the affinity diagram process to help stretch ideas. Yet, still able to define the actions to accomplish those ideas.
The strategic planning process takes place during two key points in the model. First during the initial planning session when identifying how to achieve the vision. Secondly during the quarterly self-assessment process. This ensures that the actions still aligned with the strategies and that the strategies will achieve the vision. The defined and actionable goals complement a loosely defined vision. Strategic goals also represent the major organizational milestones that garner the attention of the entire organization. They represent major shifts of focus and allocation of significant resources to achieve the goals.
The tactical planning process occurs during key points in the model. The first during the initial planning session and the creation of actionable goals. This goal accomplishment represents achieving the overall strategy. Reviewing these tactics during the quarterly self-assessment and monthly planning sessions ensures progress. Additionally, the review examines the goals for relevancy in achieving the overall vision. This step systematically breaks down each goal into a modular piece that makes it easier to comprehend and communicate. It additionally provides the capability for changing portions of the goal with greater ease when market conditions dictate needed changes.
Each monthly operational planning session identifies which tactical goals to be accomplished over the course of the month. While the tactical planning session identified which goals to accomplish each month, the monthly planning session then establishes what actions and goals for each week. This ensures completion of the tactical goals by the close of the month. Following, the weekly planning and daily planning sessions identity down to the level of goal owners.
Created above represents a streamlined cascade of aligned goals from a vision to daily activities. While a standard planning process, the need exists for agility to adjust to normative changes is required. An agile model ensures flexibility in the process. The infusion of quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily checkpoints ensures progressive movement. It intertwines goals and accountability into the process. This also elicits a continuous discussion on the relevancy of the goals. Debating if the goals link to the desired effect on achieving the vision or if the future holds alteration.
These sessions are not intended to be extensively planned and formal presentations that hide perspective and context but more simply of what was accomplished, what will be done during the next iteration, what are the roadblocks, issues, and risks that will be faced, and what higher level of help is needed. The intent during these planning sessions elicits each team and member to close out each day, week, and month with a visible sense of accomplishment making clear the accomplishments. Lastly, these sessions have the intent to open the dialogue about continuous improvement amongst the participants where issues are raised with the expectation that participants and observers are available for consultation and assistance to ensure that progress does not stall.
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