Wash, Rinse, Repeat – Driving Continuous Improvement
When organizations talk about Strategic Planning, they usually talk about some kind of a long-range plan that will be implemented over 3 to 5 years. While it’s important to know where you’re going long-term and have plans to accomplish the goals, it’s equally important to make sure that you create an organization that is focused on continuous improvement. In order to develop an organization that is focused on accepting, wanting, and planning for change, create an efficient 90-day planning process.
Set the Target; Approach it Quickly
If you have a customer retention goal, create a plan to design and implement activities over a 90-day period to increase renewal rates. If you’re trying to improve customer service, identify some of the key tactics you can implement impacting processes or education or people that will drive up customer satisfaction over the next 90 days. If your goal is to function more like a team across your department silos, create plans that have 90 days to start realizing the benefits of great teamwork, smoother decision-making, and more effective conversations across the silos.
Let Teams Drive New Age Strategic Planning
To implement plans, you often need the front-line staff working together across those silos to work through internal business process changes, to share information on the customers, to coordinate the timing/staging of improvements. So to make this implementation process flow smoothly, ensure the planning team also has this cross-divisional structure.
Ensure cross-divisional planning teams are the ones coming up with the plans, ensuring they know the operational impacts, and determining how to create buy-in within their own individual areas. Then, you’d have more synergy between who creates and who implements – thereby facilitating the desired change.
Make it an Ongoing Process
Create these 90-day plans, implement them, and repeat every 90 days. If you want to get the organization on the same page, going in the same direction, it’s important to align to the Vision of the organization. And if part of that Vision is to have an organization that is consistently improving and is accepting of change, then make improvement an ongoing process…a habit.
Make the creation and implementation of 90-day action plans a habit.