Hopefully as you go into re-alignment season you haven’t been burdened with a business plan which is rooted in optimism and riddled with assumptive math to execute on. Many plans and budgets are top down and developed to address the macro needs of the business, not necessarily how it is done and it may not really be vetted in more than a “gosh it would be cool if we did 15% more on the top line” approach.
If your just finishing up your fiscal year then your probably negotiating the nits of your 2011 business plan. FY2011/CY2010 hopefully is going well for you and your not asked to deliver on a plan that more fiction than fact.
I’ve spoke to a good deal of folks on the state of product management over the last 60 days and it is apparent that the answer is probably not in generating 5% more leads or creating a Facebook page. Buyers, B2B marketers and brands are changing how they interact which requires product managers and marketers to ask some key questions to ensure your plan or the re-casting a plan for the second half of the year.
- Do you have the right metrics for your group to create a plan?
- What are the key drivers to success for the last 12 months?
- Has anything significantly changed in your target markets?
- What are the key inhibitors to success for your sales organization?
- What items are critical to improve performance YoY or to achieve even a recast plan?
- Has anything changed in the type of deal you are winning? Average price? Market Segment? Customer Size?
Budget and planning is just math, but creating a strategic plan is more than than rows and columns in a spreadsheet. Unfortunately in the absence of facts, he who owns the spreadsheet wins.
The great thing about fact-based decisions is that they overrule the hierarchy.
– Jeff Bezos, Founder Amazon.com