Monday, August 17, 2009

Review and Update Your Master Plan

Those who make it a regular practice to review and update their master plan generally have a far easier time achieving their goals. Whether you are a small nonprofit or a large business, knowing where you are going is half the battle and following the plan you have to get there is the other half.

Why is it so common to see individuals and organizations make plans and then let them fall into disuse? Those same individuals and organizations then fall back on muddling along, fighting the daily fires, deviating from the plan and never really getting back to it. The result is ineffectiveness, lack of success and frustration ... not a sign of good leadership.

Once you make your master plan, begin to work it. Stretch your plan out whatever number of years are appropriate to what you are trying to achieve, whether 2 years, 5 years or 20 years.

Review your plan regularly and annually keep extending the plan out another appropriate length of time. Make changes that are deemed appropriate and promptly modify the plan as needed. Change dates and update any projections involved. Keep it current in order to serve you well.

This regular process of review will have you answering the realistic questions that can keep you moving forward. Are we on target? Is this still the direction we want to head? What needs to change?

Are you regularly reviewing and updating your master plan? Is this being done consistently? How extensive is the process? Who needs to be involved?

Why This Practice is Important - If you annually extend your plan out one more year (or whatever the appropriate length of time may be), you will be prompted to keep current in your response to what is going on.

An Expansive Thought - An updated ten-year plan may be more valuable than the remaining three years of a seven year old ten-year plan.

An Action Point - If you don't have one, rough out a 10-year plan covering goals, people and resources.

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