It’s not too late to schedule your monthly management meetings for this year. Use some regular meeting schedule such as the third or fourth Thursday of every month. Review your business plan milestone dates, deadlines, tasks, plan vs. actual results, and upcoming milestone dates and deadlines. All the managers committed to the plan will know way ahead of time so there are few reasons to miss a meeting.
Some excuses will come up. There will be events like trade shows or client events that some managers have to attend. However, with a preplanned schedule for review meetings, these problems won’t happen that often.
If your planning process includes a good plan — with specific responsibilities assigned, managers committed, budgets, dates, and measurability — then the review meetings become easier to manage and easier to attend. The agenda of each meeting should be predetermined by the milestones coming due soon, and milestones recently due. Managers review and discuss plan vs. actual results, explain and analyze the differences.
The monthly plan vs. actual review includes financial results and other measurables — product milestones, support calls, sales events, etc. — and takes just two hours a month.
It doesn’t take that much time, but there is very little in management more valuable. It makes your plan a planning process. And planning process turns planning into management.
I like this concept because it forces accountability. What’s your advice to those that are managing a larger organization of people, say 10-12? Do you find these meetings are still effective if you consolidate into one meeting with the entire leadership team rather than 10-12 individual?