A few days after Thanksgiving has past we all begin the scuffle for the best holiday deals or preparing for the next big event. What a joyous time of year November and December brings; to gather together in family and friendship serving one another and reflecting over great memories, who can't help but enjoy. But alas it also brings the realization that 2015 is coming to a close and soon 2016 will ring in the new year with new goals and new strategies for us to race to finish line after.
Year after Year leadership will meet in secret meetings day after day and talk about how we do this, how we do that, and what are we going to do this time? it just happens some things get placed on the back burner and others require intense laboring action to strategically position us for implementation. This month's article will offer 7 very effective tactics to execute strategic planning like no year before. It is our hope that as we close out the year we can assist you in any way possible so that the strategy for next year will be much easier to execute.
Step 1- Lock in your Vision
The first step is to establish where you are now compared to where your organizational vision says that you should be. It's common knowledge that a company's vision provides strong guidance of where we are steering the ship, with that said if you don't have a vision get one and lock it in, share it and share it some more.
Step 2- look for and develop Strategic Objectives
Strategic Objectives are significant improvements that force organizations to grow. Usually these sort of objectives take between 3 and 5 years to achieve. There are many different ways to develop strategic objectives, a few tools that we can recommend from personal use are the Ansoff Matrix, visioning, metrics/charts, strategic SWOT analysis and the interrelationship digraph or our favorite ©TEMP (The enterprise measurement plan). Whatever tools you use try to get at least 2-3 solid Strategic Objectives that you can all agree to take action on.
Step 3- Develop Tactics for the year
The tactics for the year should align with the 2-3 Strategic objectives, yes you guessed it this is the how of accomplishing those strategies. One last tip, Place them in a Gantt chart and schedule them so that they meet up with the Strategies schedule.
Step 4- Take Action (Deployment)
This is where the rubber begins to meet the road, but don't take off to fast. First we need to figure out How we take those 2-3 Strategic objectives and turn them into Tactical objectives that departments can work to at every level. One way you can do this is by deciding together at the top level what the priorities are, then also through consensus establish appropriate metrics for the goals and behaviors you want to drive. After you have done this look over that gantt chart and add in what you may have missed or mold what was already on there. What do we mean mold? This means tie your targets directly into leadership's priorities and go from executive to management to supervisor, go to everyone and share it with them. This will help align the organization for deployment. Be sure that each level of the company goes into more and more detail appropriate to the position so they are very clear, it will also help to give them a copy of the entire plan. This alignment period will help to ensure that people are focused and it will assist in integrating other departments to meet targets. Make sure everything in the plan for the organization aligns back up to the Vision.
Step 5- Implementation
Now that the rubber is on the road and we are all pointed in the right direction we can take off. Alignment is complete everyone has a copy of the plan and was a part of it's development and the priorities meet leaderships goals, now it's time to execute. At this point you may have various Kaizen events going on it could possibly be innovation projects or our personal favorite ©TREAT 1,2,3 process improvements. As you may already know in this phase specific methodologies are used to execute the various tactics that were developed in order to complete the targets that are set.
Step 6- Check Up (monthly)
It's important as the days go by to re assess the company's progress and make sure that everyone is still headed in the direction of the vision. This will require you to ask a few questions;
1. Is the plan we made achieving our vision?
2. Are we meeting deliverables?
3. What pivot points do we need to make to get back on course?
4. What support can I provide to help the team?
These questions help foster a culture of accountability and keep people moving in the right direction.
Step 7 Review and Restart
That's right the first year will provide a great learning experience compared to the many years prior, so Review. We suggest the review happens every 11 months this will allow a month period to lock in the pivot points and adjustments for the next year. It goes without stating but when you move back to step one the "current state" should be closer and closer to the Vision than the years before If not adjust accordingly.
We at Lean Strategies International LLC have enjoyed this past year and wish you the best as we approach 2016, of course there have been many ups and downs for each and everyone of us but we firmly believe that with effective planning each of you can meet your goals. as always if there is any support we can provide feel free to email us at; firstname.lastname@example.org.
And do us a favor, enjoy this great holiday season with your family and friends, And remember Education is the one gift that will never stop giving back. Happy holidays!
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