With the new year right around the corner, you’ve likely already finalized a plan for your business next year or are about to get the planning process going. Making plans is incredibly important for helping your company execute corporate strategy, but you will need a solid foundation to stand on. Whenever you implement a new plan or strategy, take a moment to make sure you have a sound footing with a little preparation.
6 Pillars for a Solid Foundation
Taking a corporate plan or strategy and translating it into action is no easy task. You can make it a little easier for everyone and increase your chances of success by ensuring you’ve completed these six activities.
- Clearly Communicate Your Strategy – Okay, this seems really obvious, but we want you to think about it. Communicating your strategy isn’t just circulating a memo around the office. It’s not even a meeting with project leads. Communicating isn’t just talking at someone, it’s having a conversation. Let employees ask questions and when they’re done, ask them to explain the corporate strategy back to you. If they can’t explain the corporate strategy correctly, then you have some more communication to do.
- Set Expectations – When you effectively communicate corporate strategy, it should also help employees understand what is expected of them. Employees want to know expectations up front so they can deliver. Skipping expectations will only set them up for failure. When setting and communicating expectations, be sure to clearly define things such as deadlines, deliverables and any other relevant information.
3. Create Channels for Communication – Yes, we just talked about communication, but we’re not done! It is imperative that all your employees have open channels of communication across teams, departments and portfolio coordinators. When channels are open, collaboration can occur, issues can be quickly resolved and teams have transparency into projects. Make sure all your teams are comfortable communicating and that they know how to get in touch when they need to.
4. Determine How You Measure Success – You likely have a good understanding of what goal or goals you want to achieve through executing your new plan, but you need to know how to measure progress towards these goals. Although executing strategy is tied to project completion, you also need to evaluate other criteria to understand progress. Things like project status, resource utilization, budget, revenue and completed milestones can provide excellent insight into where you are in your strategy execution.
5. Set Yourself Up to Focus – There’s no doubt that you will face many distractions this year. You need to set yourself up so you can maintain focus amongst numerous distractions. You can do this in various ways, but we recommend scheduling time to reflect on your plan and the ongoing efforts to execute that plan. This can take place with colleagues, stakeholders, or even just with yourself, but regardless of who is included, regular reflection will be needed. When your focus is intact, you will know when to say “no” to new projects, initiatives, meetings and any other changes that could prevent you from executing your plan.
6. Make Sure You Have the Resources You Need – You won’t be able to execute any plans if you don’t have the required resources. If you need more resources or more specialized skills, get to hiring immediately. Give your teams what they need to succeed. This can mean more hands on deck, or sometimes refers to project budgets or certain technology. Whatever your teams need, make sure they have it.
Using a Framework to Execute New Plans
Once you’ve laid the foundation for a new plan, you will need a framework to see it through. We created the Lean Project Portfolio Management™ or Lean PPM™ framework to help organizations deliver on the most important projects. Unlike more cumbersome types of project portfolio management, Lean PPM™ focuses on only the absolutely necessary information needed to make and execute strategic decisions. This makes Lean PPM™ quick to implement, easy to scale, and highly effective.
Meisterplan is a Lean PPM™ tool that helps companies answer the question: “Who should implement which projects, when?”. With an intuitive dashboard that offers project transparency and easy to understand resource management capabilities, Meisterplan helps companies create feasible plans for growth. If you’d like to see how Meisterplan can improve the execution of your plans, sign up for a free 30 day trial today.