Create Quarterly Check-Ins for Annual Plan

By Posted in - Public Relations & Strategic Planning on January 18th, 2012 0 Comments

Let’s say you start discussions with your boss in September regarding your annual plan. The planning process usually is broken into the following buckets:

  • Defining the opportunity – Perhaps this includes a summary of activities for the current year, but this also should focus on challenges and new initiatives for the new one.
  • Communicating a desired solution – This includes identifying a program goal, your target audiences and objectives for each.
  • Creating an plan of action – A timeline of activities and ideas on how to execute certain pieces can be represented through an Excel sheet, a monthly calendar or a Word doc with status updates and deadlines.
  • Evaluation – You’ll evaluate the plan based on the outcomes and objectives you identified to be measured at the outset of the plan.

But let’s also say that you view this as an exercise in futility – and once the four-step process is completed, you  start on the activities outlined and move full-steam ahead without taking time to evaluate the program along the way. (It’s been known to happen.)

The Evaluation piece is one of the best parts.  It allows you to see if what you’ve planned (and what you’re spending your time on) is working.  And if it’s not, you have the time to adjust the program(s) as needed.

Create all Four Quarterly Check-Ins now!

For many of our clients, we’ve implemented quarterly check-in sessions, where we talk about what we planned for the quarter, report feedback and decide if we move forward as planned – or if there is a new way we can do something, to achieve better results.  And most times, we set all four meetings at the beginning of the year so we stick with it.  It’s a much better way to evaluate the program than waiting until the end of the year to find out if something worked.

Do you implement quarterly check-ins? Or do you meet more frequently to make sure the direction your headed is the right one?


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