Starting 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. The tactics are then plotted across a timeline at its projected completion date creating a milestone map of what goal will be accomplished during each month. This transitions into the next standalone event which is the monthly planning session which identifies the goals to be accomplished specifically during that month-long period. This is mirrored into the weekly planning session of what actions will be accomplished during that specific week. Interlaced into this process are periodic checkpoints throughout the year to manage progress which consist of quarterly self-assessments of progress and monthly, weekly, and daily accountability progress checks and resolution of issues.
First explaining the kickoff event of establishing a vision there are many best practices an organization can follow to include using an external facilitator to guide the process, incorporating a breadth of organizational members and stakeholders, as well as using the affinity diagram process to help stretch ideas while still being able to define the actions to accomplish those ideas. More importantly than best practices, is that the result is the ideal definition of what the organization will be in the future.
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 and secondarily during the quarterly self-assessment process when ensuring that the actions still align to the strategies and that the strategies are still capable in achieving the vision. These are the defined and actionable goals that are the tangible complement to a more loosely defined vision. Strategic goals also represent the major organizational milestones that garner the attention of the entire organization representing major shifts of focus and allocation of significant resources to achieve the goals.
The tactical planning process occurs during key points in the model with the first during the initial planning session and the creation of actionable goals that need to be accomplished to achieve an overall greater strategy. These tactics are again reviewed during the quarterly self-assessment and monthly planning sessions to ensure progress is being made and that they maintain their relevancy in achieving the overall vision. This step is a necessary step to systematically break down each goal into a modular piece that not only makes it easier to comprehend and communicate but additionally provides the capability to changing portions of the goal with greater ease when market conditions dictate needed changes.
Each monthly operational planning session identifies which tactical goals are to be accomplished over the course of the month. While the tactical planning session identified which goals would be accomplished in each month, the monthly planning session then establishes what actions and goals are to be accomplished during each week to ensure that the identified tactical goals are accomplished by the close of the month. Associated with the monthly planning sessions are the weekly planning and daily planning sessions which identity down to the level of what individuals will be completing over the span of a week and day respectively.
What is created above is a streamlined cascade of goals from a vision down to daily activities and how they align. While a standard planning process, the need for agility to adjust to normative changes is required to ensure flexibility can be incorporated into the process. The infusion of quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily checkpoints ensures that progressive movement is being made on goals and that accountability is intertwined into the process. This also elicits a continuous discussion on the relevancy of the goals and if they are having the desired effect on achieving the vision or if they need to be altered to provide the highest value.
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. There is also the intent during these planning sessions for each team and member to close out each day, week, and month with a visible sense of accomplishment as it is clear as to what was accomplished. 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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