Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Logical approach to planning your year's goals

Lots of us struggle to put a decent plan together at the start of each year and then get to the end of the year and wonder what happened. Often our boss is to busy to sit down and detail out what his/her expectation is.

Try this simple process by yourself then put your plan to your boss and see how it goes. By taking the initiatve and presenting your boss with a plan for the year you can dctate the terms in many cases.

First let's go back and assess how 2009 was, what were the major accomplishmnets, were there any issues that your feedback suggested could have been completed better?

Write down a list of the ten tops tasks that need to be done for 2010, at this stage just jot them down as bullet points. Now draw columns down beside each of these tasks. Heading for the first column, "Complexity" now note against each task a scale of 1 - 5 with 1 very complex and 5 as simple or run rate. The heading for the next column is business impact and note against each task a score of 1-5 with 1 reasonable impact and a 5 as very large impact. The next column is to be headed up "resources", again allocate a score of 1 - 5 where a 1 is very limited resources available for the task and a 5 is most or all resources are available.

The next phase is to add the totals across the columns and then reorder your list of highest score to lowest score, this simple prioritising mechanism will help you decide what are the tasks that will give you the best impactg with the higest likelihood of success.

Now the task is to set each of these tasks so they have measures we can feedback to our boss, and a timelne so we know what needs to get done at each stage of the year so we can make these goals by December 2010.

Measurement is often a tough one especially if our task is re-active to customers, in this case the best thing to do is usually to look at a measurement linked to meeting demand within a given timeframe and accuracy or quality aspect.

Timelines can also be tricky, especially if the task involves feedback for the call to action, in this case we may need to a lot of early work for later results.

By learning and setting great goals we can ensure our team is always stretching forward to improve business as we progress through the year.