Looking to hold a 2018 strategy and planning day?

Looking to hold a 2018 strategy and planning day?

Strategy and planning days are a great way to kick start the year by bringing the team together to focus on the direction and priorities for the year.

What to cover in a strategy and planning day?

  • Develop or revisit your vision and purpose

  • Review the market, competitors and other key trends that may impact your business over the next 12+ months

  • Set your 2018 and longer term strategic objectives

  • Map your teams priorities and the ‘how’ to achieve your goals

  • Prioritise and sequence your priorities over the 12 month period

  • Focus on working as a team and overcoming any challenges your team anticipates

Five key considerations for your strategy and planning day

Make sure you prioritise and sequence

One of the things we find is that organisations and their managers can feel overwhelmed by how much they want to do and achieve – when they look at the list of things to do – they can feel like its too much and they don’t know where to start. As a result they sometimes freeze or react to what seems the easiest or satisfies the loudest stakeholder.

In strategy and planning days, and in the weeks that follow, its important to remember that you can do everything but you just can’t do it all at once. Critical to the planning phase is to ensure that you not only identify what actions need to be undertaken to achieve your goals, but when those actions need to take place and in what order.

Clearly distinguish between BAU and projects

We often see organisations group BAU (business as usual) and projects together in their strategy and plans, this is ok when building your list of actions, but one of the things that is often overlooked is that strategic change projects do take time –outside of the normal BAU activities. It’s really important to carve out time from day-to-day activities to work on these strategic projects.

Consider an operational calendar

To help with the planning process for the new year we find it really useful to map out the stages of strategic change projects and BAU activities on a 12 month calendar. This gives on 1-2 pages line of sight of all the activities that are planned for the year. This also helps to show where there may be interdependencies, bottlenecks in work and too many things landing at once. Visually seeing this can help to move activities to different times.

Alignment to work plans

Having a strategy and plan for the upcoming year also helps to align and inform individual work plans. It means individuals can see how their work fits into the broader picture and what the rest of the team is working on.

Think of the planning day as part of an ongoing process

A key mistake we see organisations make is treating the strategy and planning day as an isolated event. Once you have the plan it’s important to build processes so that you keep checking in on your progress against the plan and remain agile. While your plan gives you and the team a sense of direction for the year – no doubt there will be changes in the market, competitors, opportunities and challenges – these will require you to revisit the plan and reprioritise as necessary.


If you would like support in running your 2018 strategy and planning day we’d love to help you.


Get in touch https://theagendaagency.com/enquire/