Action Plan Building Series: Part 7 – Refine Your Action Plan

Monitor, evaluate, and update
Monitor, evaluate, and update

Your organization should now be able to see the culmination of your efforts. With key performance indicators (KPI) set, teamwork, and a proper plan, you have the foundation of a great formula for success. The difference between a good plan, a great plan, and an extraordinary plan is the ability to pivot and review. Let's talk about developing a solid review process before wrapping up this series.

Fail Fast, Succeed Fast

Setting KPIs and team collaboration have been significant themes throughout this series. According to the Lean methodology, success is likely to be guaranteed by immediately launching an MVP (minimal viable product) and ACTing (Action Changes Things). The law of diminishing returns also comes into play, as refining a process or project before launching lacks foresight. It is only by doing, reviewing, and improving that we can create a remarkable template for success.

Here are some tips to get you started on your review process:

  1. Establish the cadence for a mandatory review. Even the greatest processes ought to be examined at least once a year. In the early stages of your project, especially if it is a brand-new endeavor, the cadence should be extremely frequent. The quicker you fail, the quicker you can review and improve. Select weekly for projects that are just getting started and monthly or quarterly for tasks that are more established.
  2. Reflect on successes, and acknowledge opportunities. A win should always be praised or even celebrated, and failure is merely a chance to discover what doesn't work. Mistakes are inevitable, but it is through failure that we discover success. As the famous adage goes, "The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire."
  3. Pivot. Refine. Pivot. If a successful entrepreneur could ever be summed up in just one word, "pivot" would probably be the most significant word. Being rigid or being a perfectionist prior to attempting an idea or project will more than likely set the organization up for failure. The success of your company depends critically on your ability to change and experiment until you find the winning formula.
  4. Embrace change, and celebrate improvement. Anyone who has spent even the slightest amount of time in a professional setting has heard a variation of "we do this because it has always been done". This mentality is very toxic, especially to a smaller organization, as it promotes a culture of obedience rather than collaboration and initiative. Management should make it clear that every well-thought-out idea is important, and any improvements should be celebrated. A submission portal is a popular method for doing this, where the team can submit their ideas in a structured manner. Select a winner and recognize them after a set period of time.

The optimal plan is one that adapts to the organization's needs, whether they are internal or external. The team should always have the freedom they need to provide process improvements, but should not be taken to the extreme with excess vigilante behavior. This is accomplished by mandating a review cadence and encouraging a culture where spontaneous contributions are valued and rewarded.

As our series comes to an end, we cannot emphasize enough the value of execution and follow-through. Success can be attained, but in order to reap sustainable benefits from success, it must always be recorded and improved upon whenever an event occurs. Be adaptable, pivot often, and lavishly praise others while being steadfast in your convictions. We sincerely hope you've enjoyed the series and wish you the best of luck in your entrepreneurial journey.

Action Plan Building Series: A Road Map for Your Vision To Achieve Your Business Goals

Action Plan Building Series

Part 1 – SMART Goal Planning

Part 2 – Converting SMART Goals to Action Items

Part 3 – Accountability Measures through Assignments and Deadlines

Part 4 – Tracking Results through Milestones and KPIs

Part 5 – Going Beyond Planning to Execution – Action Changes Things (ACT)

Part 6 – Getting Your Team Onboard

Part 7 – Refine Your Action Plan – Monitor, Evaluate and Update the Plan

Lorette Farris

Lorette Farris

Business Strategist former investment banker, business broker, and m&a specialist. Today Lorette invests her time & expertise guiding startups & early-stage businesses as they start, build & grow.
Baltimore, MD