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ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN (AOP)

Purpose: To identify, communicate and monitor progress on key priorities for the year that advance the strategic plan. Process: Establish clear expectations, keep it as simple as possible, and refer to it often, using it as the basis for conversations on strategy, accountabilities, agreements, celebrations, etc. Creating: Management develops a plan annually, usually coinciding with the fiscal year, which identifies the top (no more than 20) objectives to be pursued to advance the strategic plan. o Requires discipline to limit objectives to those that are most essential. o Helpful to ask: "If we do nothing else this year, what is most essential to advance the strategic plan?" o The limited number increases focus and prevents progress reporting from becoming onerous. Progress reporting: o Format: Keep progress report brief (phrases vs. sentences; tangible progress vs. process, etc.), relevant and current so that the periodic progress report is easily reviewed and remains "fresh". Make it accessible electronically so progress can be entered into a master document. o Roles/responsibilities: Establish AOP coordinator (e.g. a leader's executive assistant) who: establishes and reminds Leads of timetable for progress reports, and finalizes and distributes the full progress report. o Timetable: Determine when progress report is needed (e.g. to be included in periodic Board meeting mailing &/or every 2 month review by management meeting, etc.) and work back providing adequate time for: Leads to enter progress in master document (23 days is sufficient if dates are established in advance) AOP coordinator to finalize formatting, etc; A designated leader to review entire progress report and discuss any changes needed; and Final distribution (hard copy or electronic). Distribution: Share progress report with management team, at least. As a routine part of premeeting mailing to Board of Directors, it can eliminate need for routine verbal updates and enable time for richer conversation at Board meetings. Can also be shared with staff, as is, or in abbreviated form.

AOP Concept and format © 2004 C. GauszMandelberg, Blue Heron Associates, Inc. All rights reserved, however you are encouraged to freely use the Annual Operating Plan (AOP) concept and format as long as the copyright and credit is included. [email protected]

ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN (AOP)

A 5th column can be added to reference the Strategic Goal/Objective which the annual objective advances. OBJECTIVE LEAD RESPONSIBILITY TARGET DATE PROGRESS

Brief measurable statement of what is to be achieved to advance the strategy. This needs to be worded in a way in which it is clear whether or not it has been achieved. The one person most accountable for accomplishing the objective. Resist the urge to put more than one name here. Anticipated date (mo/date/year) for completion. Variances from this can be reported with rationale in the next column, as needed. Lead reports in master document: Brief statements of tangible accomplishment achieved since the last report; Reports of progress from previous period deleted.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

AOP Concept and format © 2004 C. GauszMandelberg, Blue Heron Associates, Inc. All rights reserved, however you are encouraged to freely use the Annual Operating Plan (AOP) concept and format as long as the copyright and credit is included. [email protected]

ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN (AOP)

OBJECTIVE

STR GOAL/ OBJ

LEAD TARGET RESP DATE

PROGRESS

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

AOP Concept and format © 2004 C. GauszMandelberg, Blue Heron Associates, Inc. All rights reserved, however you are encouraged to freely use the Annual Operating Plan (AOP) concept and format as long as the copyright and credit is included. [email protected]

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ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN (AOP)

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ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN (AOP)