As Q4 presses on, the final months of the calendar year are focused on ensuring year-end goals have been successfully achieved. The sales organization focuses on “hitting the numbers.” Others working in various functions are looking to finalize important deliverables or are setting up the organization for next year. In either case, it will be important to ask, “What needs to happen to close out the year strong?” The following best practices and lessons learned may be helpful with your year-end push.

Closing Out 2019:

  • Review existing goals and action plans to determine if you are on target for closing out the year strong.
  • Leverage existing business analytics and reports to assess if you are on track for goal attainment.
  • Revisit and prioritize activities to ensure quick wins can be achieved. Remember to weigh the risk of short-term gains for longer-term relationships and goals.
  • Evaluate remaining resources in this year’s budget and allocate for opportunities with the highest potential.
    Ensure you are coordinated with your team on planned activities.
  • Take time to celebrate successes together; especially during the holidays!

Looking forward to 2020:
As you look toward 2020, it will be essential to explore what lessons learned can be applied to effective business planning and execution for the coming year.

Did you reach your goals this year? If not, why? Coming together as a group will help the team determine any lessons learned and assist in the creation of a shared view for a revitalized 2020 business plan.

Tips for improving your 2020 business planning activities include:

  • Clarifying expectations, guiding principles, and determining what “good” looks like related to business planning.
  • Reviewing external marketplace factors to identify what has changed and how that may influence plans for the coming year.
  • Defining what business analytics and reports were most helpful in monitoring performance and uncovering opportunities; incorporate these into any of your on-going reviews.
  • Asking the team to identify any less-than-useful activities (if any) and make decisions where not to spend time, money, or energy that will repeat outdated practices.
  • Specifying how and when collaboration is needed to achieve goals.

Tips for Individual Year-end Planning:

Make sure to take the time to reflect on your own personal growth and successes. Ask yourself, “What do I need to stop, start, and continue doing in 2020? What support will I need?” Capture these answers and discuss them with your manager, i.e., during upcoming performance management meetings.

All of the above are suggested steps to take when closing out the year strong and planning for an even better and more prosperous new year.

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season!

Wendy L. Heckelman, Ph.D.

Dr. Wendy Heckelman, president and founder of WLH Consulting, Inc. has over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 100 industry clients. These include pharmaceutical, biotech, health care, animal health medicines, and consumer products, as well as international non-profit organizations and growing entrepreneurial companies.

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