Management’s Annual Plan Framework – What does it include

Annual Wheel

Paavo Kytölä & Onni Matti Manninen

The annual plan framework gathers up every significant and recurring operations and procedures into one framework and it can be done to serve several purposes. Often the framework is created for visualizing management, marketing, board operations, sales or financial operations, and their main measures and planning processes.

In the annual framework, each month or quarter has its own section which indicates all the main operations and tasks that should be executed in each month or quarter. The framework can be pictured as a circle or a straight line, and it can be saved to forms that can be displayed on each computer (such as PowerPoint, Excel, or PDF). A well-designed annual plan framework increases employees’ commitment, schedules important tasks, and clarifies the annual activities. Visualized milestones and recurring activities guide organizations’ every-day work and help in implementing strategic plans.

By using i.e. color codes, you can determine different units’ individual and shared objectives. If your annual plan includes non-busy periods, you can allocate the time resources for development projects. Also, staff recruiting can be aligned to meet the needs defined by the annual wheel.

What Does a Traditional Annual Plan Framework Include?

A circle-shaped annual planning framework’s external ring underlays the activities and action plans for the upcoming strategic season:

  • Q1: Reporting of the previous season and conclusions
  • Q2: Strategic analysis and reflection of what was successful, and more importantly, what was not.
  • Q3: Planning and designing the top-level objectives and projects through deep analysis. After this, your organization should be able to decide i.e. which projects should be executed and which not.
  • Q4: More detailed objectives and action plans for i.e. business units and departments. 

On the internal ring, the ongoing season’s management activities are described:

  • January: Implementing, status updates and monitoring of new plans begin.
  • By quarters: Checkup of strategic objectives’ and action plans’ implementation. If necessary, the management can make necessary changes and react on time.
  • Monthly: Management’s or/and executive board’s business review and if necessary, new guidance for objectives and action plans.
  • Every two weeks: Units’ or departments’ recurring meetings and resource allocation for ongoing goals or/and actions.
  • Anytime: Quick checkup between supervisors and subordinates (i.e. one-to-one meetings)
  • January: Reporting of the previous year

Time- and strategy-based management 

When designing an annual plan, your organization’s main strategy might be a useful tool. By utilizing your strategy, you can decide what are the main objectives and decisions for the upcoming year. This is also a good time to determine which teams and people are responsible for each objective and/or action and schedule the milestones for monitoring and reporting. By adding these factors to the annual plan framework, you already have a quite comprehensive view of the upcoming year.

Remember to take the real calendar’s limitations (annual leaves, national holidays) into account when planning the annual framework. The planning should start early before the calendar year changes or the financial statement of the ongoing season is published. Thus, implementing the strategic objectives and action plans can be started and executed effectively.

Annual plan framework 

While the annual plan framework is an extremely effective tool for gaining employees’ commitment and clarifying strategic objectives, it doesn’t act as a tool for strategic management by itself. If an organization’s operations are too structured and employees only follow routines, management might not concentrate enough on strategy implementing and monitoring.

Sometimes, unexpected situations change the work schedule radically. When managing and implementing objectives and actions, organizations might benefit from an agile strategy tool to ensure that goals will be achieved successfully.    

Management and leadership cannot be automatized, but management routines can. LATO Strategy Tool helps you to adapt the annual plan framework’s procedures and ensure that your organization’s critical strategic objectives are accomplished.

Try LATO Strategy Tool free from here!

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