PART 3 – Staying on Track With Your Annual Plan - Monthly Management Report
Monitoring your Annual Plan on a monthly basis will keep you on track.
This monthly review can be a rewarding process – you evaluate and celebrate your success and you recommit to your Annual Plan. It you’ve fallen behind, this will give you an opportunity to find a way to catch-up.
A monthly review consists of a-point-in-time assessment, measurement and reporting the monthly targets for current month. Also, a review reports specific accomplishments and growth. The report is a effectively a brief and time efficient snapshot of the company at a specific point in time. The critical elements of the annual plan can broken down into twelve-month segments.
- progress report on projects – can be done on a percentage basis
- marketing report on activities completed along with any feedback
- business development – new projects along with potential income
- of course, financial – revenue, expense & profit achieved
o customer satisfaction
o team work
o office environment
o education & training
These examples of categories for evaluation and reporting are basic to most companies. Each business may have some variations or specific means of measuring progress.
Measuring these aspects of your business will build a feeling of confidence and enthusiasm within the company. This report, in whole or in part, should be shared along with acknowledgement of individual special efforts.
We call this the Monthly Management Report.
Management will review the report in a meeting and assess progress and outline specific adjustments that must be made to the Annual Plan as a result of monthly activities. The adjustments are outlined in term of a monthly action plan for the subsequent month. This action plan is presented to the team in a meeting where all questions can be addressed.
Ultimately, you will come to rely on your Monthly Management Reports to keep your Annual Plan on track.
Planning for success
As with any planning process, the actual events of the plan will deviate increasingly the farther you get away from the date the Annual Plan was written and published. Don’t worry about this, as the Monthly Management Report will address the Plan’s deviations. Many people ask ‘why should we spend the time planning, when the plan never turns out as we intended?’ While this raises a good point for the short-term, the planning and evaluating process is the hallmark of all successful companies because it helps them get better and better at planning as they practice the habit.. Planning is a step-by-step process to creating a strong company over the long haul. Companies that don’t plan, don’t grow and in fact, the often fade away into nothing.
Beginning your planning process
Inter-company planning and regular evaluation exercises may seem difficult and time consuming, to begin with - some say ‘there isn’t enough time to complete the work, where are we going to find the time to plan.’ As someone who struggled, I can understand where this sentiment comes from and it’s true that beginning a planning exercise can be slow especially for the first time without any experience. Because of this you may want to reach out to a coach or facilitator with specialized experience who can help guide you through the process.
The planning exercises don’t need to be overly time consuming considering their value.
Planning exercises benefit the company in many ways:
- efficiency in completing task
- provide clarity within the company
- create satisfaction among team members
- minimizes frustration
- long term overall health of the company
- companies that plan, succeed
The following are approximate time each exercise might take
- year end review 8 – 12 hours + 2 hour team meeting annually
- new year planning 12 – 16 hours + 2 hour team meeting annually
- monthly management report 6 – 8 hours 1 hour meeting monthly
Inter-company planning exercises that we have outlined in this blog are investments in time that will guide your company along the path to success beyond what you dreamed possible.