If your company is struggling with the planning process, it’s possible that you’re making
it more complicated than it needs to be. A study done by the Harvard Business Review
found that most executives report making only make six major decisions a year. The
key is to get those decisions right and everything else will fall into place.
An exercise that can be helpful in identifying those six important decisions is an evaluation of “what’s working and what’s not.” The process is simple: make a list of the major functions/areas in your business and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of how well you think they’re working. Then ask members of your management team to do the same and compare the results.
Some of the areas you might evaluate include; production/operations, product/services,
sales, marketing, customer service, strategic alliances, cost reduction, technology,
human resources, and quality. Looking at your business from the perspective of what’s
working and what’s not provides a good starting point for your planning discussions
and can help guide the process to be focused on those areas that will have the biggest
impact on your business.