20/20 Vision for your 2020 Planning Process

Every organization does it…  Some bring only a small group together. Others are analytically driven and let the numbers drive. Still other organizations plan well into the 1st quarter.

What makes ONE approach better or more efficient than any other?

The true key is simply picking a style and process that “fits” your organization and then having the willingness to adapt to change in markets, staff, management and balance sheet needs.

There are LOTS of approaches and one will work for you, too.  Bottom-line, whatever process you choose, follow these key tenets.


  • Planning is a team effort…more ideas, more participation is always good!
  • Accountability MUST be a major part of the plan (How much, by whom, by when?)
  • The best plan is actually based on the effort of its implementation and use
  • Simple is better – 5-6 total strategies at most
  • SMART goals produce focused results and accountability

There is an ideal flow of your planning process to ensure the “eyesight” is aimed properly.  If 100% is your total time allocated for planning (individually or collectively), the following is a great rule-of-thumb to start building your plan and process.

  • Spend 10% of your time reflecting on prior performance, efforts, and hurdles
  • Spend 10% evaluating outcomes of prior strategies
  • Spend 10% determining why the past year did or did not achieve desired results
  • Spend 20% brainstorming new strategies and tactical supports
  • Spend 30% determining the priority, assignment and funding needs
  • Spend 20% determining accountability, oversight, progress gates and outcome reporting

Throughout the process identify key stakeholders early and engage their commitment.  Their energy, engagement and “Water cooler” management will ensure the planning process gains sustainability and confidence of the team.


As previously noted, Key Tenets drive your process creation.  Two specific elements will give your plan lift and achievement:

  1. SMART goals will provide clarity for your team, each goal and the organization.
    • Build goals around the SMART process, track, report and celebrate success and identify weaknesses
  2. Keep the Strategies small and tight
    • Less than 5-6 strategies keeps you focused and lets resources be applied to the required levels