Project Management

What’s Your Plan Next Year?

Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can't imagine a better job to have. He is interested in all things agile, or anything new to learn.

Topics: Decision Making, Strategy, Teams

As the year ends, most organizations begin to prepare for the upcoming year, quarter, or season. At some point in the calendar, it becomes too late to make changes to existing products and projects, and even small adjustments to projects in-flight become difficult to schedule in. Some organizations even freeze all work starting around mid-November, preferring stability during the winter holiday period instead of making changes, even ones that may turn out to be positive. While the end of the year is a good chance to be reflective, it is also a time to prepare for the turn of a new year and be ready to get started when the calendar changes.

Different companies handle this in different ways. Some organizations will start thinking about goals for the next year, which are often a blend of metric goals (like increasing revenue by some percentage) and delivery goals (delivering some big project.) Some will instead think in terms of themes, figuring out what the strategic objectives will be, rather than trying to determine the specifics up front. It’s also not unusual for teams to focus on creating a full plan for the first quarter of the year, including projects and milestones, while leaving the future quarters flexible or unplanned entirely. There really is no “right” way to do this kind of annual planning, and it’s not a bad idea to do some combination of…

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