2016: New year, new you, new commitment from us to keeping the Founders Blogs churning out with regularity. Don’t want to get over-aggressive and promise one weekly, but that’s the goal. Today’s topic: how we put together strategic plans for 2016 that are at the intersection of robust yet actionable.
As former management consultants, we sometimes have to fight the tendency to come up with flawlessly constructed logical gems. But no plan is a good plan unless it connects the strategic vision to the actual verbs that will get you there. Our process was to first highlight a set of strategic priorities, then come up with the set of ‘key questions’ we will work to answer for each priority. Here’s why:
- With so many ‘mini-projects’ competing for our time, we found it critical to narrow our focus down to the things we have to get right.
- The process of answering questions forces us to pick a hypothesis to try. For example, if you’re asking ‘what are the most effective growth levers to try and reach this # of readers,’ then you naturally have to come up with trials to test and learn from.
Still, we came up with more ‘key questions’ and supporting action plans than we could likely ever accomplish in a two-man work week. The next step was to look at our individual plans holistically and decide what to prioritize and how to sequence. We figured out exactly what we planned to accomplish and how it fits together in a way that doesn’t crush our capacity.
Lastly, we want to track our progress against our goals and build in moments to pull up and reflect on what we’ve done and learned lately. We are using Asana to help us work smart and manage the mini-projects we have in process.
With that said, here are our strategic priorities for early 2016.
- Continue growing the free M-W-F Primer Sports e-mails.
- Validate our business model and ensure the plan to scale is viable
- Pilot Primer e-mails that are tailored to different sports or regions, and run tests around the marketing opportunities that those create.
- Ensure we have the right people to prove this works and scale it – everyone from advisors, investors, part-time and full-time support (looking at you, summer-intern-to-be-named-later).
There’s a whole set of key questions and action plans behind each of those, but we know you don’t have all day. Which is why busy sports fans need Primer in the first place.