What gets measured, matters!

The end of the year can be a jubilant time and it can also be a time for solemn reflection.  In some cases it is a good time for both.  I am spending the last week of the year, what I call the “13th month” reviewing and reflecting upon the year 2012 from a business and personal perspective.  While I do this I am also putting down my initial plans for the year 2013.  What makes this process so interesting and somewhat challenging is that the most common response might be to see what worked well this year and to do more of the same in 2013.  I am taking a somewhat different approach as I look in to my crystal ball for next year and many more.  I will not share all of the details in this post, but what I will do is share some of the process I use to measure “success” or “failure” from a business and personal view.  Let’s get on with the show.

Priority Category Title Description Resources Timing Results
A Search new search clients obtain 1 new search client per quarter BD work quarterly  
A Search repeat search clients obtain 1 search from an existing client per quarter BD work & follow up quarterly

The table above gives you a picture of my approach to operational planning.  Going from left to right I look at each item from an ABC priority and categorize by type of work.  I then entitle the goal and give a brief description of what is to be pursued.  Afterward I list some of the general resources that might be needed and then look at what the appropriate timing might be for the goal.

One of the major challenges I run into with this process is not looking at it on a more regular basis.  I would prefer to have more of a real-time dashboard that automatically gives me a view of where we are in light of our plans.  I am working on such a process for the coming year, but would be interested in hearing how you address this.

The bottom line is this-if you don’ have a plan you will wander.  I don’t stick to my plan quite enough, but I have encountered success because I have some level of planning and I am blessed by the grace of God.  You may not feel the same way about your business, but I know that my success comes from above.  A little planning never hurts.

Best wishes to you and your pursuits in 2013!