With a new year just a few weeks away, many of us are deep into planning for 2017. Beyond budget and financial goals, you’re also setting strategic business goals that move your business forward.
To achieve those goals, you’ll need to identify and prioritize those projects that support those objectives. Easier said than done? Here’s how:
- Ensure you have a defined strategy. If your company (or division) doesn’t, then first, invest the time to set the direction of your ship. Your strategies will likely be things like “increase market share” or “reduce operational costs.”
- Break down the strategy. “Increase market share” is a noble goal – but how will you accomplish it? Through releasing a new product? Launching a new marketing campaign? Identify all of the potential activities you can take to help you accomplish those objectives.
- Prioritize the projects within each objective. Ask yourself which of them are the most valuable in achieving those goals. Consider what order in which you need to execute those projects to get the most value. If we go back to the example of releasing a new product and launching a new marketing campaign to increase market share, you may choose to release the new product before you launch the marketing campaign in order to make the most out of the advertising spend.
- Commit to your priorities, publicly. Now that you have a strategy, and prioritized projects, hold yourself accountable to those by sharing the strategy and projects with your team.
- Get started. All the planning in the world will only take you so far – you do eventually have to do the work. So trust in your plan, and get to work.
Of course, you’ll end up with projects that don’t align with those strategic goals. Some may be related to compliance or maintenance, while others crop up to maintain stakeholder satisfaction. Since you can’t avoid those projects altogether, leave time in your schedule to handle them without derailing your strategic objectives.
Whether you’re the CEO, IT leader, a marketing manager, or in charge of customer success, these simple steps can help you align your projects with your business strategy – making 2017 one of your most successful years ever.