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Measuring outcomes. Assessing progress.

It’s July now. That means – at least for me – it is time to look at my annual strategic plan and assess how far I have moved forward, what has actually been achieved, and what obstacles have gotten in my way.

It is time to re-align my plan with my goals for the year. And that is exactly what I have been doing for the past four weeks. As you may already know I work with a theme for any given year. That theme defines my core goals and guides the work that I do. In 2016, HIP’s annual theme is: Make Connections. Build Community.

I chosen the Make Connections: Build Community theme as I want to grow the number and quality of the connections that I have with Women Entrepreneurs and Non Profits – my two key client groups. By nurturing the existing relationships I have and planting seeds for new relationships, I am extending the reach that HIP has in the marketplace.

To make this happen, I have outlined some key action steps that include things like:

  • Increase Social Media Presence (marketing)

  • Introduce and deliver new group brainstorming session (product)

  • Develop and implement a new low cost feeder program (product)

  • Seek out Speaking Opportunities (marketing)

  • Attend Networking Events (marketing)

And, my action plan clearly answers a couple of key questions that are important at this time:

  • What action steps do I need to do to realize the outcomes I am looking for?

  • When will I know I have completed it?

With July now upon us, it is time to revisit this plan, to assess my progress and re-align what I am doing. To do this, I simply need to look at my outlined plan and compare it to the outcomes I have actually achieved.

When I did this, I quickly discovered that I’ve made some significant progress on some of the items (Introduce and deliver new group brainstorming session), done okay on other items (increased my social media presence), and still have lot’s of work to do on others (speaking opportunities and launching new low cost feeder program).

Still progress has been made. To re-align my plan I now need to consider:

  • How do I shift my activities to maximize my ability to achieve the outcomes I desire?

  • How can I better use my limited time to move forward on these action items? Which items can I drop as they are not moving me forward (if any)?

  • Which action items do I need to refine my activities around (i.e. networking – assessing which groups are leading to me connecting with my ideal clients)?

What questions do you ask yourself when you are reviewing your progress and re-aligning your activities to achieve the desired outcomes? Let us know in the comments below so that we can learn from each other.

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