Connecting Strategic Plans and Tactical Action Tracking

There are so many great systems out there on how to connect strategic planning to tactical operations, to ensure that strategic plans don’t become shelfware (get put on a shelf and ignored).

I’m a big fan of lots of thought leaders in this space, including Cal Newport’s Multi-scale Planning and Agile Scrum.

One key concept is being able to see how your organization/team/self connects all the dots across your productivity system. Below is a picture that shows how this could work.

Some example sources (inputs) of actions:

  1. Annual strategic planning creates goals and metrics
  2. Major Initiatives – important projects that aren’t in the annual strategic plan
  3. Ongoing Operations (Recurring Responsibilities)

These should all feed into a consolidate action tracking system (e.g. Jira, Trello, Basecamp, Excel, Sticky notes on a Whiteboard).

Then several activities should “consume”/work through these actions, such as:

  1. Quarterly, Monthly, Sprint, and/or Weekly Planning Meetings/Activities
  2. Weekly Top Priority emails
  3. Meetings/Discussions – It’s important to capture, publish, and track actions that come out of meetings — I like to have someone send out a meeting recap email after each significant meeting, with some key notes and then an action table with columns like Action, Owner, Deadline; and then someone copies those actions into the action tracking system

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