If you’re anything like most organizations, you’re completely bogged down in 2021 planning. And the best part is you’re trying to put together the ideal plan for your organization all via Zoom.
Creating a compelling plan, and associated performance measures, was difficult enough under normal circumstances. Now when you factor in the inability to meet in person you’re faced with a difficult situation. But developing a strong plan is vital to successful performance management in 2021.
For 2021 your ultimate goal in planning and performance measurement should be simple. Simplify your life and don’t overcomplicate the ways you establish performance management.
I’m often asked, “What’s the best structure for a strategic plan?” and “Do organizations use templates to help them plan?”.
I’ll answer the second question first.
Do organizations use templates to help them plan?
Every organization’s strategic plan is like a snowflake. Each is unique. Some may start with a template but as soon as all stakeholders are included, the template goes out the window. When a template goes out the window, you’re opening yourself up to an overly complicated plan. One that has no semblance of unified performance management across the organization.
In need of a template? We have you covered.
So, what about the first question?
What’s the best structure for a strategic plan?
Well, after 8 years of pondering this question, I have a structure that I’ve seen work time and time again.
The best strategic plan structure for performance measurement is a four-level plan:
- Goals – What are you focused on this year?
- Measurements – How will you measure those goals?
- Strategies – How will you move those measurements?
- Tactics – How will you execute those strategies?
If you are interested in other structures, we’ve covered other strategic plan examples too.
Performance Measurement as a Framework
Since today’s blog is all about performance measures, I’ll focus on the second level of the plan structure: Measurements.
Every goal needs to be measured. Your organization must understand if you’ve accomplished your goal and performance measures are the way to get there. It doesn’t matter if you call it a Performance Measure, Objective, KPI, or something completely different. The important piece is measuring progress. This is THE foundational pillar of performance management.
Is your goal to have a best-in-class customer experience? Then measure NPS scores, customer survey results, or the number of clients willing to provide a comment on review sites. And don’t just measure the number for measurement sake. Each performance measure should have a focus to increase, decrease, or maintain a number.
Notice how I didn’t include 50 examples of performance measures. The moment you move past 3-5 performance measures, you’re now in the over-complicated zone.
I’m not saying you won’t track other measures outside of your plan. But I am asking you to identify the critical few, often lagging measures, to add to your strategic plan. This won’t be easy, but I can assure you it’ll lead to a plan that’s very easy to understand.
A simplified plan is key to effective performance measurement.
Simplify your plan, simplify your life
Lastly, try and explain the logic of your plan in less than 30 seconds. Go ahead, try it.
If your plan is simple it will be easy to explain your thought process on the structure you’ve created. If you’ve overcomplicated things, then you’ll tend to ramble on for what can feel like hours.
If you can easily explain your plan, then the people you need to execute the plan will likely be much more successful.
Following these simple, effective steps for performance measurement will make 2021 your year!
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