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Startup Creating a 1-Page Quarterly Action Plan for Your Business A powerful format and 3-step process to create your own 1-page quarterly strategic action plan to grow your company.
By David Finkel Co-author, 'Scale: Getty Images As a leader of your company, you know it's your job to keep your team and the company focused on the right things.
In fact, to successfully scale, you must balance the need to focus on those fewer, better things that will make a leveraged difference for your company and your need to be flexible so you can adjust as you go.
It's as if you have a two-sided equation, with your need for flexibility on one side--markets change, opportunities appear, and tactics succeed or fail--and, on the other side, your need to gain momentum and for your staff to have the time to get meaningful blocks of work done.
Our business coaching clients' staff members tell us how dizzy they feel when the founder changes too many things too frequently. So what's the key to maintaining a dynamic balance between flexibility and momentum?
It is the quarter. The quarter is the perfect unit of time to bridge your big-picture goals--which probably have a two- to five-year timeline or longer--and your weekly planning and daily action. The quarter is the way to execute on your strategy to accomplish your business goals.
It's long enough that you can get meaningful units of work done that collectively bring you closer to your long-term goals, but short enough so that you can frequently course correct and steps to writing an action plan your focus.
In a moment, I'll share the format we use for our one-page plan of action, but first I want to share why I emphasize the need for a one-page plan. We've learned from coaching hundreds of companies that in the rush of the day-to-day, you need to be able to take in your company action plan as a gestalt whole.
If your plan is two or three pages or, heaven forbid pages! We coach our business clients to review their company's quarterly action plan each week. It becomes a clear accountability tool and GPS to ensure your team is focusing on the right things and hitting the key milestones on time. And with your plan being one page, you and your team can take it in with one look.
This discipline of working with a quarterly one-page action plan has helped our business coaching clients enjoy an average annual growth rate of Here is what our formatted action plans look like. Sure, you'll still have to take care of your company's day-to-day operational needs.
But in your Focus Areas that quarter, you will invest a portion of your best resources, because you know that these are the areas that will really help you scale and develop your business. Each quarter, meet with your leadership team and decide on up to three Focus Areas for your business for that quarter.
Potential Focus Areas could be: Increasing your lead flow Improving your sales conversion system Speeding up your collections cycle Making a key hire Developing a new product Progressing on a key project I strongly advise you to limit your company to no more than three Focus Areas for the quarter in many cases, having only one or two Focus Areas for the quarter may be a better choice.
Why limit your company to three Focus Areas? Because too many top priorities means you have no top priorities. Ninety days go fast. If you spread your company too thin, you and your team will partially do things instead of fully doing a few key chunks that actually produce value for your company.
So pick your Focus Areas carefully and invest your resources to get something special done on these fewer, better areas. Clarify the Criteria for Success for Each of Your Three Focus Areas Now that you've picked your three Focus Areas for the quarter, the temptation is to immediately go lay out your action steps for them.
Step two says to pause first and clarify your criteria of success for each. What would you need to accomplish this quarter to feel successful in this Focus Area?
Be ruthlessly realistic about what it is possible to accomplish in 90 days. Generally, we suggest you pick criteria of success that you have control over or, at the very least, you have a great deal of influence over. It's important to look for criteria that are as objectively and quantitatively measurable as possible.
When criteria are too subjective, you may reach the end of the quarter without agreeing on whether you succeeded.
If you look to this KPI to determine your performance, you'll know if your company is on track to succeed in this Focus Area. Look for three to four definite criteria of success for each Focus Area.
See the sample plan of action above for what these could look like. Your written criteria of success for each Focus Area give you a yardstick against which to measure progress as you go.
Also, by laying out your criteria of success for each Focus Area, you'll have clear clues for what action steps you'll need to take over the quarter--most of your action steps will be obvious. Lay Out Your Key Action Steps and Milestones for the Quarter The final step is to lay out the key action steps you need to take and milestones you need to reach to accomplish your criteria of success for each Focus Area over the coming quarter.
To keep your plan to one page, you'll probably need to break down each Focus Area into five to seven action steps and milestones. While your plan must be detailed enough to guide your actions, it must not be so detailed that you feel overwhelmed or lose yourself in the minutia.
For each action step, pick a team member to be ultimately responsible for executing the step by a definite date.Using this form as a template, develop a work plan for each goal identified through the needs assessment process. Modify the form as needed to fit your unique context. Action Steps.
What Will Be Done? Responsibilities. Who Will Do It? Timeline. By When? (Day/Month) Resources. Action Plan Template.
Managing WHO Humanitarian Response in the Field - 6 Defining Objectives and preparing an Action Plan Defining objectives An objective is the desired state that it is intended to achieve – the desired outcome.
4 Tips for Writing Personal Action Steps. Ministry. A personal action step is a specific, actionable item that comes out of a conversation you’ve had with your group, family, or mentor. Here are a few tips on action steps: Tip #1: Keep it simple. School leaders who have good data on students' reading and writing needs, measurable literacy goals, and specific action steps to address student needs can develop an effective literacy action plan.
They can use this plan to guide the school's literacy improvement efforts over time.
A SMART action plan incorporates 5 characteristics of a goal: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. To help you set up a smart action plan, we are going to go through the 5 steps you need to focus on that will help you achieve your goals in a fast and optimal manner.
Jun 03, · Read on to see how to write an action plan for 3 different important scenarios to achieve optimal success and productivity.
In part one of the action plan series, I discussed when one might wish to create an action plan as opposed to a to-do list or a project. In this article, I will demonstrate how an action plan can be created. Additional Action Plan Information Action Plans Introduction An action plan provides instructional support and is a comprehensive way to monitor There are 3 steps in completing an action plan: 1. Complete an action plan with the beginning teacher based on one of the teacher’s areas of need. A personal action plan is a method of conduct that individuals choose in order to achieve one or more personal or professional goals. Individuals usually write down action plans to more easily follow the series of steps that it takes for these plans to come into fruition.
Create a Course; If you need help on how to write an action plan, and current. Does your draft list all the action steps necessary to reach your goal?
Are the steps clear to all parties Author: Florence Ng.