It’s planning season which means you’re running around with too much to do and not enough time to do it. Don’t worry, your friend Joe is here to provide you with another quick and easy planning template reduce your stress. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my goal is to go back to basics and give your tools that will make your life easier. There is no wrong way to plan but I feel that some ways are more effective than others.

1) Goal
2) Metrics
3) Milestones

Level 1: Goals

A goal is your opportunity to clearly describe what good looks like. What do you want to be when you grow up? This is chance to inspire your colleagues with what you expect from them and what they can expect in return. When an organization meets and exceeds their goals, everyone benefits in a variety of ways. Work becomes a much more exciting place when you’re doing well, harness that energy and get everyone fired up.

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Level 2: Key Performance Indicators

Now that you’ve defined what success looks like, measure it! I can’t stress this point enough, don’t derail your plan by taking shortcuts here. Dig deep to find your baseline and set appropriate targets for the date range you’ve selected. If you miss on either the baseline or the target you’ll lose that positive momentum in an instant. It’s a powerful feeling when you know without a shadow of a doubt that you’re close to reaching your goals. KPIs are really the only indicator you have of organization health so measure early and measure often.

Level 3: Milestones

You all know by this point that I’m a big fan of the 4 level plan which includes strategies and tactics but milestones are just as effective. Some folks have a hard time discerning the difference between a strategy and a tactic so the last thing I want to do is bog you down. Strategies are like buckets of activity that indicate success. Tactics are extremely granular and spell out how you’re going to accomplish your strategy. Milestones combine the two ideas together and are basically mini-successes you expect while you progress through your plan.

Now go forth and plan! Please let me know if you have any questions, my door is always open!

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Joseph Krause
Joseph Krause
Joe Krause is currently the VP of Business Development at Achieveit. He serves as his client’s dedicated resource on strategic planning by providing a wide range of consulting services. In his spare time you can find him at the various restaurants in Atlanta or at Crossfit trying to work off those meals.