Updated: Feb 9, 2021
When your strategy, goals, budget and people are all working together, you can achieve the extraordinary.
Everyone going in the same direction
I’ve worked with companies who consistently meet their goals --- even their stretch goals, companies who consistently have mixed results, and some who don’t know what they’ve done. The companies who consistently meet their goals have something in common: alignment. Their mission and vision align with their strategy and goals, which align with their budget which aligns with their projects, which aligns with their people. They communicate clearly and effectively with the entire team. They follow up regularly and take feedback seriously.
The most effective planning process I’ve used was one I standardized at a division of one of the largest companies in the world. The inputs to that process were the mission, vision, and values of the company, the annual budget, the metrics from the current year, and the umbrella corporate goals. From there, I worked with the vice presidents and managing directors from 37 offices around the world to break down the goals from division to group to department. I coordinated with the IT department, corporate training, HR, accounting, and the PMO to ensure all the support departments were aware of the projects that would fill their pipelines.
Once the initial planning was complete, managers met with their departments and departments had follow up meetings to talk about how they would contribute to corporate goals. Individuals could write their annual goals with a direct tie to the projects they impacted, all of which were tied to the corporate cascade.
It took effort, discipline, maintenance, and adjustment to make this process work. But it did work. Really well. In the first year after this process was fully rolled out, the division realized a 27% increase in operating profit; the second year saw a 13% year over year increase.