Your Business Foundation – Part 5 – Putting Plans into Action

April 27, 2009

With the annual strategic plan completed, you can now bring your new corporate objectives back to the organization. Take the opportunity to call a company meeting. It’s a good chance to show the organization your commitment to the business as well as eliminate thoughts about hidden agendas. You can then chart new directions and announce necessary adjustments.

Tie Corporate Objectives to Management Goalsplans-into-action

You also want to meet with your managers. Even if they participated in the strategic planning, it is a good idea to follow up and ensure that there is as seemless integration from mission/vision to business plan/objectives and down to goals/actions. The goals and actions should be: specific, short-ranged, obtainable, and measurable.

Speaking of measurable, you should agree on how to monitor and review them. Finally, check for understanding and agreement to complete the delegation process. Consider tying them into their compensation (e.g. MBOs).

Use KPIs to Create Corporate Dashboard

Once you have established the metrics by which you will monitor if you are on track to meet your business plan, then you determine which ones are most critical. These are commonly known as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Note there may not be a KPI for every single element of your business – just those critical to your success or perhaps important to a new aspect of your strategic plan. These KPIs become your Corporate Dashboard. Similar to a car, you’re corporate dashboard contains the vital information about where you are going and how your vehicle is performing.

apna-metrics-dashbrd

During my business consultation with APNA, our second Select Alliance Partner in India, they showed me their corporate dashboard – actually a LabVIEW VI with nothing but LEDs that were either green or red for each of their KPIs in each of their business areas. I was particularly curious about the Project indicator. So, I asked Gigi Mathews, their quality officer, who I would also learn was affectionately known as the ‘evil metrics woman’ by her colleagues. She responded, “If 100% of all projects are on time and budget, then it’s green. Otherwise, it is red.” I wondered if it had ever been green. She said, “No.” So, I suggest to her with all due respect that I didn’t know of any system integrators for which the indicator would be green. Nevertheless, I appreciated their efforts to define and track KPIs to build a corporate dashboard for their business.

Question: What are some of the KPIs on your corporate dashboard?

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