There is no definitive way that a majority of people agree on to do business planning. Online research usually points you to highly involved and complex processes that originated with management consulting firms. After reading extensively on the topic we came up with a way to boil it down into four simple phases to capture a high-level annual planning process for business owners to follow. It groups the main activity done in each phase and labels it with a term that reinforces that activity. They are: Lead, Think, Plan, and Act.

The Annual Planning Process

  • Lead

  • Think

  • Plan

  • Act

Lead – This is where leadership sets the goals for the organization.

Think – This is where leadership and middle managers collect all the research, assessments, and information to understand the internal/external risks and opportunities the company will face. 

Plan – This is where you generate options for initiatives and then decide which you will do.

Act – This is where the company sees the final plan and acts to implement it.

Our Journey Continues

Our initial version of Omnistrat has the core needs addressed in Lead, Plan, and Act. 

Looking at the Think phase now we believe it functionally should be a whiteboard-type, freeform process to begin with and then get more structured. There is a lot of interesting functionality that can still be built for Lead, Plan, and Act. That’s a good thing as every software company needs a roadmap of future features.

Lead, Think, Plan and Act are valuable concepts because they provide guidance in your annual planning process and make it simple to understand what can be a confusing and poorly understood process.