Do’s & Don’ts When Creating an Annual Operating Plan

One of the most important components of an organization’s strategic plan is the annual “operating plan.” This details the major goals and activities to be accomplished during the upcoming fiscal year. A few dos and don’ts:

     DON’T exclude people who will be responsible for implementing your plan.

     DO create an action plan (or work plan) for each staff member.

     DON’T forget to specify who will be doing what and by when (action plans are often referenced in the implementation section of your overall strategic plan).

     DO detail the first 90 days of the plan’s implementation, and build in regular reviews of status.

     DON’T have too many cooks in the kitchen! One internal person should have ultimate responsibility to ensure your plan is enacted in a timely fashion.

     DO translate the strategic plan’s actions into job descriptions and personnel performance reviews.

     DON’T forget to designate rotating “checkers” to verify that activities have been completed every quarter or so.

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