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Organizational Planning Guide for 2022 and Beyond

It's a vital period for businesses. The business world since the pandemic and its changes is still getting back on its feet, and 2022 will be a make-it-or-break-it year for a lot of organizations. 

Now is the time to make a strategic plan for your company's future and unify your workforce with a common goal. Nearly all U.S. businesses doing over $100 million a year have a formal long-term plan, but your business doesn't have to be doing numbers like that to make use of a strategic plan. 

Creating a common goal needs to go beyond setting a target KPI, though. It needs to be a well-considered plan with strategy, tactics, and smart execution. A key business tool to make this happen is organizational planning. 

What is Organizational Planning?

Organizational planning is determining where your company is now, where it wants to be in the future, and how everyone is going to work together to get there. It's creating a roadmap for the future. This kind of planning can be a big benefit to an organization. 

It can get your workforce on the same page, from upper management to the newly hired, and let them know what everyone is working towards. It can provide structure for a business, define roles, and create a framework for decision-making. 

There are different types of organizational planning. You might create a comprehensive plan for the entire company. You could also focus on one particular area, or pick and choose to organizationally develop a variety of areas

Those could include: 

  • Workforce development planning. How are you going to grow a dynamic, diverse workforce in the future? How will you promote your current workforce? What investments are you going to make in training and development? 
  • Product and service planning. What new products or services are you going to develop in the next few years? What goals do you have for your current products and services? What is your strategy to reach new sales markets?
  • Expansion planning. How is your organization going to grow in the coming years? What new market areas do you want to break into? What adjacent market opportunities are there? Does your organization require physical expansion into a new space to accommodate growth?
  • Financial planning. Are there new investments you want to pursue? How will you protect your company's assets? Is there a succession plan in place to ensure financial stability? 

These are all big questions organizations have to answer. Organizational planning can provide the answers and create a guide for dealing with specific situations. Those answers pave the path for the company to achieve its future goals. 

There are many organizational planning tools available, whether you want to do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or utilize technology and make it digital. For a lot of companies, the process starts with whiteboard brainstorming. 

By the end, though, you should formalize the plan in an official document. Companies might include Gantt charts, decision trees, or force field analysis for certain planning purposes. 

The key is to determine what process works best for your company and leverage tools that move you forward. Don't get bogged down in unnecessary tech.

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What Are the Components of Organizational Planning?

A strong organizational plan should have five components: 

Organizational Planning Step 1: Strategic Planning

This is where you set the company's goals for the future and determine a timeframe in which to achieve them. Carefully select your team for this stage of the planning process. 

Some companies prefer to keep the strategic planning committee small and primarily made up of people from the C-suite. Other organizations prefer to make this process communal, with input from a variety of people and departments. 

Organizational Planning Step 2:Tactical Planning

In this stage, you need to start setting milestones that will help you achieve your strategic goals. If you start with a small team in the strategic planning phase, you'll want to bring in more people for this stage, especially department heads and team leaders. 

Look at current data and extrapolate it to set milestones that are realistic and achievable while still creating progress. Creating the milestones that move you towards your main goals can take time, so don't rush the process. 

This stage is going to form the backbone of your operations for the next year or so, and it's important that you get the milestones and corresponding KPIs right.

Organizational Planning Step 3: Operational Planning

Once you've set the milestones, you need to determine who is going to be responsible for achieving them. This stage is where you define roles within the organization. 

Essentially, this is laying out who is responsible for what, and formalizing those responsibilities. Get as detailed as possible so that there is no confusion in the future about who should be managing a certain task. 

The best way to do this is to break your milestones down into individual processes, and then decide who handles that process. 

For example, maybe you want to focus on recruiting a more diverse workforce in the next year. List who will be responsible for talent acquisition and what metrics you'll use to determine the success of the recruitment efforts

Organizational Planning Step 4: Planning Execution

This is where you put the plan into action. Once you outline the responsibilities and set the milestones, it's time to let your team get to work. 

During the execution stage, the strategies laid out in the first stage can help guide any decisions made during the day-to-day operations of the organization. The execution stage is also where you'll want to implement any staff training, new product development, or succession planning you outlined previously. 

Organizational Planning Step 5: Planning Review

This might be the most important stage in the planning process. You need to consistently review your organizational plan and track how the company is progressing towards its goals. 

This often happens on a quarterly basis, but don't let it go any longer than that. With consistent reviews, you can gather data on progress and adjust anything that doesn't seem to be working. 

This is where the organizational planning process really shines. When you know where you want to go and have a plan on how to get there, issues within the company preventing you from reaching that goal become obvious. You can then address them right away. 

Without the plan, you might carry on "business as usual," and fail without realizing it's happening. 

Organizational Planning

Strategies to Help You Plan for 2022 and Beyond

Organizational planning is a process that takes time. Because it's a roadmap to the company's future success, though, it's time well spent. 

If you want to start planning for 2022 and beyond, here are a few tips that can help make your planning process future-proof and more effective: 

Organizational Planning Strategy #1: Start with SWOT

During the strategy phase, carefully consider your companies Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT)

This can help you make smarter decisions about what goals could make the biggest difference. It can also help you determine what threats are out there which could prevent you from reaching your goals. 

That information could later help you develop a plan to overcome threats and weaknesses in the tactical planning stage.

Organizational Planning Strategy #2: Make Your Goals SMART

Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based (SMART). Using the SMART philosophy to write goals at the company and individual level will help you create better, stronger milestones that actually mean something. 

If goals are unattainable, no one in the company is going to be driven to reach them. That can kill productivity very quickly within an organization. 

Organizational Planning Strategy #3: Create an Org Chart

Org charts provide an important function within the organizational planning process. It locks in who is in charge of what and creates a visual reference for teams and departments. 

Org charts also help you define who is following up within specific teams to ensure KPIs are being met. Org charts create a structure within the company, not only for accountability but for support, too.

Organizational Planning Strategy #4: Review Processes Frequently

Processes can be what bogs a company down and holds them back from attaining goals or innovating their business. Review the processes defined in your tactical planning phase often. Streamline them and make sure they are flexible enough to accommodate company growth. 

You don't want someone preventing growth within the business because the right form wasn't filled out.

Organizational Planning Strategy #5: Share the Plan With Everyone

The company's organizational plan should be common knowledge. While some tactical planning may need to remain solely within the C-suite, at a bare minimum everyone should know what the company's goals are going forward. 

Having a common goal within the company can be motivating and inspirational to the people on the ground doing the work. It can also help them make better decisions about how to spend their days. They are more likely to spend time on tasks that drive growth in the desired direction. 

Let Crosschq Help Achieve Your Organizational Planning Goals

Where is your organization going in the next year, five years, or ten years? Creating an organizational plan can lay out your company's goals and how you are going to achieve them. 

None of it's possible without the right people in the right positions, though. If your organization needs help improving its hiring practices to bring in more dynamic thinkers and doers, get in touch with the Crosschq team. We'll show you how we can help you find the right people to make your organization grow.

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Mark Ko

by Mark Ko

Content Writer

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