Shorten your planning cycle

taskmasterIf your business is anything like Taskmaster Enterprises, you’re probably engaged in one of the worst times of the year – the budgeting and planning period.

 

This is the time when we sit down, throw darts at the wall and try to predict what the next year is like.

 

Actually, it’s a bit more scientific than that, but in the current environment it sometimes feels like plucking numbers out of the air would be just as effective as rigorous planning.

 

Which is why I was struck dumb by something the CEO of David Jones said the other day when announcing the appointment of a strategic planning manager.

 

Previously, David Jones had done planning on a four-year cycle, but apparently the retailer has just woken up to the fact that’s a touch long.

 

Um, it sure is. In this patchy economy, shorter planning cycles are a must. I’ve adopted one-year plans, with meetings every quarter to assess our progress and make changes as is necessary.

 

If anything major comes out of the quarterly meetings, we’ll sit down and assess that. If we feel our planning is going completely out the window, we’ll make the quarterly meetings monthly.

 

The point is that the planning cycle needs to match the environment. The more unpredictable things are, the shorter the cycle should be.

 

Get it done – today!

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