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Forging a Smoother Road Ahead

(January 2006) posted on Thu Jan 05, 2006

Plan for 2006 by reviewing 2005.

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By Marty McGhie

Often, we begin the new business year by talking about goals,
projections, budgets, and other planning tools. Certainly these
are all necessities of any successful shop's operation. But you
don't want to overlook an equally important part of planning:
reviewing the past.

It's all too easy to enter 2006 with great plans and renewed
energy, and then forget to review your goals from the past 12
months. While it may be a little painful to do so, it's important
that you go back and examine what went wrong last year. Review
which goals you set for 2005 that you did not accomplish.

You can probably classify
the goals that you didn't
achieve into two general categories:
goals you set but
never got around to working
on, and goals you worked on
but did not achieve.

First are the goals that
you set but never really
worked on. These goals
may be those that were
"pie-in-the-sky" goals"?
ones that were not realistically
attainable. Perhaps,
in hindsight, you now realize that these goals may indeed have
been attainable, but you ignored them at the time because they
seemed too difficult to achieve and they required too much
extra work. Or perhaps they seemed liked good goals when you
set them up, but you decided somewhere along the way that
they were "meaningless goals."

Whatever the reason, it will be useful when outlining this
year's plans to evaluate why these particular goals were not
achieved. Doing so will help you avoid the same mistakes when
planning for this year.

The second category of goals not achieved are the ones
that you worked hard to accomplish, but couldn't pull off. These
goals may be even more relevant to evaluate. Perhaps with
more consistent effort from your team"?or a little more time"?
you can still achieve them. If so, set them up as a new goal for
this coming year, modifying them to address any changes in
your situation.