Goal Setting for Marketers: Establishing Priorities & Actionable Steps with Workplans
As we near the end of Q2 (wait — how did that happen!?), it is time to start goal planning for Q3.
I’m talking REAL goals — not fluffy pipe dreams.
Sales and marketing executives at technology startups and expansion-stage companies are full of ideas. Wonderful ideas. The only issue is, ideas will only get you so far. In order to scale and have real impact, you need to prioritize your ideas, execute against a real plan, experiment, reflect, and then determine next steps and what needs to be adjusted to achieve greater results next time around.
The Beauty — and Necessity — of a Good Workplan
If you are a marketer, you have probably mapped out what you want your marketing programs to ultimately look like — the end goal. That’s a great first step.
Now the key is to set deadlines and establish a workplan to get you to that end goal. A workplan is a document that maps out EVERYTHING that will need to be done to get you to your end goal — week by week. Even if you’ve never achieved this end goal before you probably still have an idea of what you can do to TRY to get to it. Map it out in this document.
For each and every item/task in your workplan, there needs to be an owner: it may be you, it may be someone on your team, or it may be someone outside of your team who you are dependent upon to get that particular task done. In a workplan, there are certain things that need to be completely completed/achieved each week.
As the manager of your team, you need to hold everyone on your team accountable for hitting their weekly deadlines that are aligned toward your bigger goals, and the workplan establishes up front what you expect from everyone. This becomes a great management tool for you, and should be reflected on in weekly retrospectives.
Lately, sales and marketing leaders have been coming to me asking how to apply scrum to their respective teams.
If you are not familiar with Scrum, it is a framework designed to adapt to changing requirements during the development process at short, regular intervals. It enables teams to choose the amount of work to be done and decide how best to do it, thereby providing a productive working environment. The framework helps teams prioritize work based on business value, improve the usefulness of what is delivered, and increase revenue.
A good workplan actually sets you up nicely for applying some of the basics elements of Scrum.
Each Friday, ask the members of your team to map out what their upcoming week’s plan is (in Scrum that upcoming week is called a”Sprint”), and how much time it will take to complete each item that they plan to achieve (as per the workplan). As the manager, you should review their priorities for that upcoming week and see if they are spending too much time on some activities, and too little time on something that’s less of a priority.
Each week, each member of your team should provide you with a plan for about 30-35 hours worth of work (you need to assume that there are going to be hours for meetings, lunch, etc). All items or “stories” should be prioritized and given an amount of time that it will take to complete. Keep in mind that generally a “story point” more than 5 hours is too large, and should be broken down into smaller components.
Every morning, have a 10 minute powwow (i.e. a “Scrum”) with the team to discuss what the plan is for that day, and what stories points will be completed. Encourage people to commit to something each day, and complete it that day rather than working on something a little bit everyday. This is exactly what we do at OpenView Labs in order to achieve our goals.
So as you are planning your upcoming quarter this week and next remember — don’t just plan your end goals, plan what you and your team need to do each and every week to get to your end goals. I promise that you will achieve more, and that you will stay much more focused.