10 Strategies to Increase Efficiency in Your Quarterly Planning

With the third quarter of 2022 not far away, it’s an excellent time to assess where you stand to achieve your strategic plan’s goals and objectives.

You need to ask if you’re on track with everything. If not, it’s time to revisit your 2022 objectives. That’s why quarterly planning is also as important as annual planning to keep your business in shape.

However, many leaders and managers still do not understand how to optimise their quarterly planning meetings or sessions. As a result, many projects and initiatives go wrong, resulting in rework and waste due to poorly defined objectives.

Don’t worry; we’ve compiled a list of 10 smart strategies to increase efficiency in your quarterly planning:

1. Be strategic in your approach

Dwight D. Eisenhower summed this up perfectly. “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”

While organising your quarterly planning, you should eliminate everything that isn’t required.

Your priority when quarterly planning should be identifying the actions or activities that will support your business goals and figuring out how to release the resources needed to carry them out.

Executives should take these steps to ensure that their quarterly planning process is efficient and aligned with company objectives.

2. Set your goals effectively

If you don’t have any goals for your quarterly plan, you will lose focus and direction.

Setting quarterly planning goals gives you control over your meeting and allows you to lead it in the direction you desire. Utilise SMART goals to ensure that your goals are met within a specific time frame and parameters.

Before the meeting, make a list of your objectives and set deadlines for completion and evaluation. Writing out the goals of the quarterly planning session can help you measure the success rate of the meeting.

3. Prepare the resources for the Quarterly Planning effectively

Every company should have a strategic plan. And when setting up quarterly planning, you just don’t need to prepare, but you need to prepare effectively.

From pre-planning through post-planning, this comprises determining the actions necessary to attain your objectives and creating a schedule and explicitly communicating roles.

Gather your team to include them in the decision-making process, then brainstorm to develop a strategy and a timeline to move forward with the plan.

4. Set the right objectives

Create a list of objectives that includes distinct and quantifiable stages that indicate how each goal will be met.

To guarantee timely completion, objectives should be SMART as well.

Develop an action plan for the quarterly plan that specifies how the objectives will be met and precise measurements to track progress and metrics that are comprehensive yet simple enough to quantify that progress.

5. Utilise Strategy Mapping

A great tool for visualising your overall plan is strategy mapping. And since strategy maps are a top-down approach, they can quickly identify how a business operates and where improvements can be made.

According to OnStrategy, 86% of executive teams spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy, while 95% of employees have no idea what their company’s strategy is.

However, with a well-designed strategy map for your quarterly plan, every team member can know your overall strategy and where they fit in. It helps keep everyone on the same page, and it allows people to see how their jobs affect the company’s strategic objectives.

6. Be relevant

Anything that changes the market in which your organisation works is referred to as a market trend. You don’t only need to be realistic; your company must also be relevant.

When setting up the quarterly plan, you need to ensure that your objectives are stretching but achievable and based on these market trends.

You can tell what makes sense for your company if you understand the different market trends. In any fast-changing business environment, this concentrated examination aids you in adapting and remaining competitive.

7. Set a benchmark for the upcoming quarter and assess your performance for the past quarter

A strategic plan by nature requires you to measure and document performance.

Doing so will allow you to benchmark where you’ve been, allowing you to adjust your trajectory of where you are going. Leveraging data is a wise business decision to keep your organisation moving forward.

Benchmarking also allows your company to develop an internal or external benchmark against which it may compare itself to improve.

8. Prepare your managers

The goal of your quarterly plan is to help you move forward with your annual plan and long-term business strategy.

And to do so, you need to prepare your managers for this process.

A manager who is confident in their ability to provide and accept feedback, present a performance review, and lead a performance evaluation meeting will be a key contributor to the meeting’s success.

It may be necessary to provide training to ensure that managers are fully equipped to accomplish all of the activities associated with planning and leveraging data before the quarterly planning session.

9. Document all the planning, activities, and processes.

It’s critical to have documentation to back up the different phases of your quarterly planning, and notes should be created to be shared.

This documentation can be utilised to support performance choices, evaluations and decisions. It’s critical to measure the success at the end of the quarter and be able to learn from failures fast.

This will serve as the basis for your operating system for the next quarterly meeting and any subsequent meetings.

10. Prepare to respond to change

Once the quarterly plan has been established and approved, it’s vital to track progress toward the objectives and goals of your company.

You also need to revisit and monitor the plan to verify if it’s still relevant and alter the strategy when business conditions change.

To increase the success and efficiency of your quarterly plan, make sure you have a backup plan in place to respond to any changes in the market trends that might jeopardise your chances of success.

Ready to implement these strategies in your upcoming quarterly planning?

The path to effective and efficient quarterly planning isn’t always straightforward, but adopting minor adjustments, one at a time will yield huge outcomes.

These ten smart strategies can assist you to enhance your company’s quarterly planning.

Do you want to jump-start on arranging a successful quarterly planning meeting? Have a FREE 30-minute session with me, and we’ll talk about how to take your business to the next level!

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