Let’s face it, the annual plan is a lot like making a New Year’s resolution to exercise more – It’s a great idea but not always realistic. Just like in business, you may establish a plan to run a marathon. Throughout your training, things happen. You miss training workouts, priorities with family, and other obligations come up. In the end, you adjust your plan to a run 5K knowing that you are still receiving benefits of better health.
Like your running plan, your business has to deal with and adapt to the realities of execution and new incoming priorities. No doubt, planning is essential for setting priorities, optimizing resources, and aligning financials. Getting everyone on the same page for the coming fiscal year is critical to your success in any industry. It’s also a lot of work – involving many moving parts, people, and iterations.
Should the annual plan change? For most organizations “yes”. They should stop trying to deliver a fixed plan without re-planning taking into account realities. Resources get over-committed or shifted to other projects, funds get re-allocated, and innovation and transformation get left behind. The next thing you know – 50 percent of the projects were not in the original plan and your mythical annual plan is busted.
Why not evolve planning from a one-time or quarterly event? Watch this new video, “The Myth of Annual Planning,” to learn the right questions to ask, such as:
- Do we have the resource capacity?
- What tradeoffs can we make?
- How can we re-prioritize our projects?