Are things going according to this year’s original plan?
If your answer is “yes” …
Congratulations! You have fared better than most. Most companies are in markets that have caused turbulence for the original plan.
However, a warning: are you sure there are no changes needed to the plan? If your company is in a changing market, following the original plan on cruise control is dangerous … like driving on cruise control with blinders on. Make sure you are leading with your eyes open.
If your answer is “no” …
Congratulations! IF you are dealing with reality of change around you and making changes to your plans as you go.
If your answer is “no” and you have made no updates … you may have a problem.
- If the issues are due to external factors, establish just enough review process to maintain plan relevancy and currency. Don’t wait until the issues pile up and corrections are more painful or ineffective. Planning for uncertain markets results in plans that are more assumption-based than fact. Be aggressive in converting those assumptions to fact or fiction. Quickly test assumptions to help you correct as needed and stay successful.
- If the issues are due to internal factors … Are business operations chaotic and unpredictable? Establish just enough consistency for a reliable foundation. Making and executing plans is useless if there is no way to tell if any of the planned changes made any difference.
If your answer is “I don’t know” …
Then find out. The old annual or semiannual plan review cycle isn’t enough for most companies. Change the cycle to reflect your company’s environment and rate of change. Drive your company with your eyes open!
Relentless change demands relentless plan monitoring and updating.
By Mike Russell