Quarterly Review of Your Strategic Plan

Quarterly reviews are an essential element in the strategic plan for your business. Not only are they helpful for performance evaluation, but they also provide your company with the opportunity to adapt to business conditions, and ultimately grow. Generally, your strategic plan is a cultivated vision of distinctive business goals and the strides you take to complete them. It is taking current knowledge of your business, including conditions, personnel, and environment, and creating expectations based on that knowledge. Your strategic plan should always be a flexible work-in-progress that is adaptable to the newest business conditions and is continuously open for necessary improvements.

A quarterly review of your strategic plan allows you to re-evaluate your strategy in accordance with new conditions and opportunities, and plan for the next steps. It should focus on four main categories: reviewing the previous quarter, company morale and performance, updated learning and education, and an action plan for the next quarter.

Reviewing the Previous Quarter

Initially, a quarterly review is just that – reviewing the quarter. This means gaining an understanding of what the company achieved in the last quarter, celebrating triumphs, and evaluating what could be improved. The main focus of this category is to evaluate how your company is performing in accordance with the plan you created. Discuss what you learned and praise your accomplishments, but also examine where you came up short and how you can recuperate.

Company Morale and Performance

Your review should measure the growth, progress, and impact of each employee and/or department. Eliminate communication barriers by distinguishing clear goals and criteria for which employees will be reviewed. Use these goals to measure performance each quarter. The certainty and guidelines for performance reviews can also help to improve company morale. Well-performing employees receive recognition and those who need improvement are offered constructive criticism. The communication and recognition provides employees with a sense of certainty, which reflects back on their vigor and drive.

Updated Learning and Education

By repeating old practices and behaviors, your company will never grow. Therefore, continuous learning and updated education should take the front seat during your reviews. This includes a wide variety of activities and examples. One way is problem solving through statistics and data. When you first create your strategic plan, it is based on assumptions. Your quarterly review should take statistical information from the previous quarter to make new assumptions. Organize and draw conclusions from what your company has learned. Another way is by analyzing new industry trends and developments. The world moves at an inconceivable pace, and industry trends change in the blink of an eye. If you do not analyze these developments and adapt, your company will be left behind. Continuous learning and education give your business the competitive edge it needs to thrive.

Action Plan

The final, and perhaps most critical aspect of your quarterly review is the creation of an action plan for the next quarter. After reviewing the previous quarter, company morale and performance, and educating employees on any new knowledge, it should result in a plan of action to redirect the company on the appropriate course. Plans can change. That does not mean the original plan was insufficient; it just means that life factors affected your original strategy and it is time to regroup – like industry changes, big events, or new opportunities. Create a list of efficient adjustments or adaptations to your strategic plan based on substantial insights from your quarterly review to set your business up for a successful next quarter.

When your business invests in a quarterly review of your strategic plan, you increase your chances of meeting your goals and succeeding in your field. Consider consulting an expert to assist you in the process. Jeff Miller is an experienced professional and can lead your company in a positive direction. For more information, contact us today!

JMCA at the StartRight! Business Plan Competition for Women Entrepreneurs

On August 28 I had the privilege of sponsoring the StartRight! Business Plan Competition for Women Entrepreneurs, which was awarded at the Women’s Power Conference in Rockville, Md.

As an entrepreneur and father to two beautiful daughters, I believe that empowering women in the lively game of business is a win-win proposition. Check out the video below!

JMCA at the StartRight! Business Plan Competition

Best Practices for Implementing Your Business Strategy

All organizations — be they small businesses, nonprofits or large corporations — are apt to acquire different needs as they grow and evolve. But how can we, as the leaders of these organizations, respond to those changes?

We’ve talked a lot about the three pillars that are meant to support business growth and all the needs that come along with that growth, and by now, you should be familiar with the first two: first, you assess the current state of your business or executive team to determine the specific issues or goals you’d like to address. Then, you design a comprehensive solution tailored to the variables that make your business unique.

That leads us to the third pillar: implementation. Here are four key things to make sure you do as you prepare to put your plan into action:

  1. Understand the timelines involved. Some goals are tasks are a one-time to-do,make sure you assign a realistic time frame to complete those tasks. Other goals require multiple steps (i.e. hiring a new sales person: placing an ad, conducting interviews, etc.) Make sure that the timeline assigned to those steps is realistic and reflective of the process. Designate any necessary deadlines, and stick to them.
  2. Make sure to allocate the right amount of resources. Do you have enough time, the correct people and sufficient funds to get the job done?
  3. Delegate appropriately and responsibly. Often times, you may be the biggest obstacle to implementation —  don’t be afraid to delegate assignments. The rule for delegating is to ask yourself: if I do this and it doesn’t come out the way I want it to, can I live with the results? If the answer is yes, delegate. If not, don’t.  When you delegate, you want to make sure that you’re not abdicating a task — check in with the people on your team throughout the completion of an assignment and make sure to arm them with whatever they need to be successful. But never assign a project and then completely walk away.
  4. Establish systems of accountability. If you’re not measuring the implementation of your plan as you move forward, you simply won’t be able to track the results. Make sure to set up benchmarks throughout your assess, design and implementation phases so that you’re aware of not only what you’ve accomplished, but also areas that need improvement.

The assess, design, implement methodology is a simple, proven and powerfully effective way to prepare for and welcome in your organization’s next phase of growth.