Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.
You just got a big goal from corporate. Now what? You’re low on original ideas. You don’t have the resources to assess your options and build a plan. You need to build a compelling business case to get the funds and people you need to achieve your targets.
Get Aligned and Focused
Catalyst Strategies works with leaders of divisions and functional groups to ensure there is clear alignment between their goals and their groups’ activities. We work collaboratively with your team to define critical initiatives, action plans, and key milestones. We assess resource needs and model the business case to support budget requests.
Our operational planning approach incorporates:
- Deep market insights (e.g., customer, competition, and channel)
- Formal initiative and program prioritization criteria
- Alignment of plans to corporate goals and strategy
- Understanding of internal realities (e.g., budgets, deadlines, skills, structure, and systems)
- Integration of cross-functional inter-dependencies
Annual Operating Plan Components
Based on years of experience in managing business units and functional organizations, we have developed a fast and practical approach to annual operational planning. We adapt our approach to fit with your corporate planning methodology and guidelines, working closely with your team to ensure you are poised to succeed in the following:
- Goals – A limited number of specific and measurable fiscal year department-level objectives that define progress; focused on a business value
- Programs – Thoughtfully designed ongoing activities that support delivery of strategic goals
- Initiatives – High-priority efforts or investments that enhance or accelerate achievement of goals; a new way to deliver measurable value in alignment with department or company goals
- Milestones – Significant events, steps, or stages in the delivery of a program or initiative within a defined period of time
- Metrics – A measure of achievement at the program or initiative level, typically operational in nature, defining how a business tracks results against targets
- Budgets – The financial component of the operating plan that guides the allocation of resources
Team Buy-In and Accountability
We facilitate operational planning in a series of workshops with clearly defined “homework” assigned to team members between sessions. We create clear alignment between high-level strategy and lower-level programs/initiatives, milestones, measures and budgets. This cascading is key to organizational alignment around strategy. Our approach maintains momentum and builds consensus on the inevitable competing priorities within a group. Above all, we work with your team to get everyone pulling in the same direction so that you can fully deliver on your promises.
It is critical for your team to own the operating plan. Building momentum and consensus through team workshops, we ensure that everyone is on the same page. The result is clear understanding of priorities and agreement on deliverables and timelines.
Call us to help your team get aligned on your most critical priorities.