Quickly Build a Strategic Plan: Our Best Practices

by Brandon Bett, on Sep 19, 2020 9:26:46 AM

We've worked with thousands of plans across industries and the globe, and we managed to pack all of our best practices into this quick article. Enjoy!

The building happens on the Planner page

This quick guide assumes you are building any combination of the following, but don't get too caught up on the terminology! You can call these types of goals whatever you want - it's the concepts that are important:

  1. Objectives: High-level outcomes, or ambitious "statements of truth" for your team or organization that are connected to your identity and/or environment.
  2. Projects: The specific actions to take in order to achieve the Objectives.
  3. KPIs: Key performance indicators, or metrics, that explicitly measure whether or not you actually achieved the Objectives.

You can always update the terms/etc. later. For a full overview on how to customize the Strategy Model, check out this comprehensive course. On to the good stuff...

Vision, Values, and Focus Areas (optional)

First, let's address the high-level pieces of the plan. Note that if you want to skip this part, you can! The Vision, Values, and Focus Areas can be extremely important, but you don't need them to start adding your most important goals for tracking.

If nothing else, Focus Areas are just categories. Call them whatever you want - at the end of the day, Focus Areas let you group your goals to keep them organized. You can name them after anything, such as...

  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Departments
  • Your team members' names
  • High/medium/low priority
Or you can literally delete all but one and call it "Company Goals"...just don't let the concept of "Focus Area" take away from your ability to add your goals 👍

 

Objectives

Objectives should reflect your future identity as a team or an organization. They are ambitious outcomes with specific timelines, and should clearly articulate a "future truth" you and your team can strive for.

 

Projects (and Tasks)

Projects, Actions, Initiatives...whatever you call them, these are the specific and tangible things we're doing to achieve an Objective. 

Projects are typically the most relatable "goals" to your everyday employee. Objectives help employees connect what they're doing (Project) to why they're doing it (Objective).

 

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

KPIs are specific numbers we're tracking in order to prove an Objective has been achieved. It's one thing to complete a bunch of Projects in trying to achieve the Objective, but how can we prove it's been achieved?

 

Overall, with this setup:

  1. Objectives are defined by an ambitious outcome linked to future identity.
  2. Objectives can only be "Complete" or "realized" if you complete your associated Projects, and you hit your KPI targets.

It's hard to argue with those results at that point!

Customize Display to Show the Framework

This is a small thing, but you can use our Customize Display feature to clearly articulate how your different goal types fit together. 

Topics:Creating Your StrategyKPI Library

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