It’s that time of year folks when we reach deep inside our computers to unearth last year’s plan. Before you start on the 2020 plan, take the 1-minute quiz below to see how effective your team’s current plan is. Answer “Yes” or “No” for each question and then total your number of “yeses” and see how your team’s plan rates:

1. The plan is updated with new insights throughout the year to remain relevant.

2. The plan clearly identifies a limited number of priorities so we have extreme focus and are not spreading our resources too thin.

3. The plan drives my daily activities.

4. The plan is a concise summary of the factors that will make or break the business.

5. The plan includes insights in all four key areas: market, customers, competitors and company.

6. The plan includes input from people in other relevant functional areas.

7. The plan provides a clear roadmap for reaching our goals.

8. The plan shows time frames, metrics and accountabilities.

9. The plan is reviewed at least once a month by the team and modified accordingly.

10. The plan includes clearly stated goals, objectives, strategies and tactics.

11. The plan is distilled into 1-2 pages/slides so it is useable.

12. The plan shows how we will achieve competitive advantage in our market.

13. The plan has helped us profitably grow the business.

14. The plan clearly links our goals (what we’re trying to achieve) with our strategies (how we will achieve them).

15. The plan includes our purpose (mission, vision, values).

16. The plan is developed after strategic thinking and planning sessions so it includes new strategies and tactics, not just ones recycled from the previous year.

17. The plan includes a thorough assessment of our competitor’s strategies, not just their products and services.

18. The plan communicates the strategies in a simple way that is easy for others to understand.

19. The plan has been an important part of our business success in the past.

20. The plan clearly identifies a winning and differentiated value proposition.

Scoring Legend:

17 – 20: Competitive Advantage: Your plan is a valuable driver of the business.

13 – 16: Work in Progress: Some elements are in place with room to improve

10 – 12: Out to Lunch: Plan has lots of holes, like the Swiss cheese on your sandwich

< 10: “Plan Overboard!” Look for a lifeboat in another department or company because this ship is going down sooner or later

Back to Blog


What Is Your SQ?

May 20, 2024


Building Your Business

May 2, 2024


Board or Bored of Directors

April 18, 2024