Implementation Techniques Can Improve Business Plan Success


The fate of a firm's annual strategic business plan often resembles the outcome of our personal New Year's resolutions—forgotten and pushed aside. "Instead of sharing the annual business plan firm-wide, many leaders keep the details in the confidence of those senior staff members who designed it, then find they are nowhere near their goals by mid-year" says Sarita Peng, a principal with ZweigWhite. "By enlisting the help of the entire company, leaders will find they are no longer fighting a lonely uphill battle towards firm success."

Sarita shares a few tips for leaders who want to stay on track to achieve 2006 business goals:

• Don't keep it a secret. The success of the business plan depends on the support of the whole staff. Conduct a firm-wide meeting immediately following the planning retreat to unite and motivate the entire firm.

• Articulate measurable goals. By delegating action items and setting a timeline for completion, managers will be held accountable to making the firm's annual business plan a reality.

• Measure success regularly. Establish monthly meetings to discuss progress updates. Consistently referring to the strategic plan every month guarantees it will not be forgotten.

• Tweak plan as needed. Opportunities and issues may arise that demand unplanned action, or render certain action items counter-productive. Also, unforeseen obstacles can prevent people from attaining their goals, so flexibility is also instrumental to the success of the plan.

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