6 Tips to Develop a Winning Execution Plan

Whether you are launching a new business or implementing a new sales plan, a 90-day execution plan that details what needs to be done week by week and by whom provides a structure that delivers successful results.

This post is essentially the “deep dive” into how you are going to deliver on the plan.

Why 90-days?

It’s important to allow enough time to deliver a successful project, keep the team focused, allow for unexpected challenges to be resolved and time to pivot all while having a clear finishing line in sight.

A 90-day timeline promotes focus, ownership, accountability, team-work and a steady drumbeat of progress across the team.

Here are 6 things to consider when creating your 90-day execution plan:

1. Break it down into tasks

This is not a complicated process and is similar to building a wall. You have a goal and there are a number of tasks that need to be completed (bricks to be laid) to deliver on your goal.

You can add or replace tasks to the plan as you go. It’s about progress not perfection to get you moving in the right direction.

2. Weekly project meetings

This is the “project pitstop” to ensure everything is on track, deal with obstacles, re-prioritize tasks or add new ones. Encourage debate within the timeline for each item during the meeting but ultimately decisions have to be made and clarity given.

3. The right skills

Blend the team to get the right skill mix to do the best job at delivering the goal. Don’t be afraid to move beyond the traditional silo type project team and involve all stakeholders in the build of the execution plan as well as the task distribution.

Take “customer success” as an example. It used to be more about the sales and account management team but now the product team have a key role to play in the customer success journey.

Have an open mind; invite other functions to the table for a fresh perspective. Worst case you are promoting a togetherness and teamwork ethic that will be of benefit to the business.

4. Use the process to develop people

This will become a strong and sometimes highly charged environment, an opportunity to spot and develop talent as well as a way to identify where to invest in training & support.

Teams are expensive to build and an execution plan is a great way to map development needs, if they fit the organization culture and positively contribute to the team. There should be some conflict otherwise people are not trying hard enough. It’s not a “love-fest” after all. It’s business.

5. Be the coach

As the project leader, departmental head or the CEO, the same rules apply. You need to be there to support team members deliver on their individual tasks. A combination of this will achieve the goal.

Now, I am not suggesting the CEO has to provide granular support on team tasks but like the best plans, “the devil is in the detail”, so make sure that there is a culture of support in place that enables team members to get the help they need to allow them to excel in the delivery of their tasks.

For example, if you have a talented team member who is naturally shy and struggles to get their point across in the larger weekly team meeting then sit down with them separately and have a conversation around options to assist them overcoming any personal obstacles (one-on-one coaching, a template to follow when raising a point, allowing them to contribute first to put them at ease for the rest of the meeting).

6. Set a meeting cadence

Following on from point 5 it’s very important not to get caught up in the daily storm of random support meeting requests and questions that go with the execution of any plan.

The way to approach this is to open up 1 hour of 4 x 15 minute meetings in your diary each day. Team leaders or members can book these slots in your diary, you will only answer project questions during this time and all questions are to be saved for this daily meeting slot.

You will get a more complete view, it’s good time management and you will make your team more efficient.

As a CEO, Department Head or Project Lead, one of the biggest challenges most will face is in building a highly successful team and then getting that team to work in sync on the delivery of successful outcomes.

A 90-day execution plan mindset will not only allow you to demonstrate and build on your leadership abilities but will help you to develop a strong team, promote team-work, a strong work-ethic and most importantly to get stuff done.

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