Why 90 Days is the new 5 Years

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We no longer live in a world where we can plan years ahead on strategy, or have much certainty and stability. The way we plan in business is changing and evolving at a quicker rate than ever before. The key driver for our success now is how we react and adapt to change.

The above model has long been the standard in business planning, but I believe this concept to be out-dated and have revisited and updated it below.Strategic Planning

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with a 5-year-vision. In fact, I think it’s crucial to have one, but planning for any longer than 90 days is irrelevant. It is important to know where your business is eventually going, but those goals can be too big and seem impossible to achieve. Hence why I advise breaking planning down into 90 day segments.

What can you do in 90 days to build towards your 5-year goal? If you achieve 4 – 5 goals in a quarter, that’s 20 in a year, and 100 in 5 years. Small steps help drive business towards the end goal.

Tactical Planning

Tactical planning takes your strategic plan and sets forth specific short-term actions and plans. This is where you break down your 90-day goals even further, delegating actions to specific departments or colleagues.

I believe tactical planning should be every 2 weeks as markets and the business environment can change quickly. You need to allow flexibility, and regularly be able to reassess how tactics are performing against stated goals and to change tactics if necessary.

Operational/Task Planning

Daily task planning is a key element of success in business. It’s a chance to review your progress on the specific business goals you’ve set, set your daily agenda, and prioritise your tasks of the day.

I would also consider operational planning a daily activity. First line managers should be making specific plans for low level and day-to-day activities and processes that will support and enable the tactical plan, and delegating to team members. This will therefore inform team members’ daily task planning.

In my opinion, breaking down goals and making them more quantifiable and achievable is the key to reaching your 5-year business vision. I would be keen to hear other’s thoughts. Comment below or tweet @SafarazAli

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