It’s Time to Get Ready for Annual Planning

Summer is pretty much over and the kids are back in school. The weather is starting to cool down a bit and now is a great time to start gearing up for Annual Planning season. But do you have a real game plan for Annual Planning?

Here are 10 things to think about and plan for. Most of these are obvious, but the issue is most companies wait too long before getting started, so the much-needed planning time gets compressed.

Make this an agenda item for your next team meeting. Get the conversation started and establish dates ASAP.

  1. Who is going to participate in the planning sessions? Is the travel be required by some team members?
  2. Will you host the meeting at the office or another location?Annual Planning
  3. Will you do something social with the team? Having a nice dinner before the first day of planning is a great idea, especially if the team does not see each other on a regular basis.
  4. How will you engage the employees who will not be in the planning sessions? Will you survey them in advance? What information could you get from middle management and front lines that would be insightful?
  5. What data, numbers, financials, etc., do you need to have handy for better and faster goal setting? It can be frustrating and inefficient to halt the flow to dig up numbers.
  6. Who will be the facilitator? The timekeeper to make sure the planning sessions stay on track? Who will be the scribe to record decisions, actions, etc.?
  7. How many days will you need? The major components are reviewing the previous year, creating a BreakAway Move strategy for the next 1-3 years, determining the top annual priorities, and working on a communication plan to roll the plan out to the rest of the company.
  8. What can you do to make the team stronger as you go through the planning process? The ground rules will you use to have the team really commit 100% to the goals and action plans?
  9. What are the expectations of the team members who are included in the planning process? How should they mentally and physically prepare?
  10. And here’s one of my favorites… What can we do RIGHT NOW to get us set up for a great planning session? Are there clean-ups we can do related to clients, process, people, etc.? What can you address now that will leave more time during the planning session to work on the really big transformation-type things?

Commit to making 2017 the best year ever. Get a running start by doing Annual Planning early and give your team extra time to craft a winning plan and BreakAway Move.