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Keeping It in The Family – Business Plan, Marketing Plan, Management Systems

Are you guilty of treating your management system like a weird second cousin?

What would be the starting point when preparing your Business Plan? Mission, goals, measured outcomes?

What would be the starting point when preparing your Marketing Plan? Mission, goals, measured outcomes?

What would be the starting point when preparing your Quality, Environmental or OH&S Management System? Crickets …… do you hear crickets chirping in your empty head space?

It’s a sad fact that Management Systems are often treated like that weird second cousin we stumble upon when researching our family tree. But just like that weird second cousin, once we take the time to get to know them, we find that the family resemblances are glaringly obvious.

Let’s look at the family traits shared by the Business Plan, Marketing Plan and Management Systems:

Context of the Organisation: Who are we? You’ve got your 30 second elevator pitch word perfect but do you truly understand who your organisation is? It’s not until you identify and explore your risks and opportunities along with the needs and expectations of interested parties that you begin to identify the actual context of your organisation. Using a SWOT analysis gets us thinking about everything that could potentially impact the success of our organisation and assists in the development of the organisation’s strategic plans and objectives.

Leadership Commitment: Where are we going? Organisations are ultimately made up of people of varying skillsets and experience, working together for a common purpose. But how do they know that common purpose? By clearly defining roles and responsibilities and engaging, directing and supporting people, the organisation can work as a united front towards the organisation’s objectives. Leadership commitment is key to the successful delivery of the organisation’s strategic plans and objectives.

Planning: What’s the plan? The famous words of Benjamin Franklin “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” are an eloquent summation of the critical role planning plays in achieving successful outcomes. Planned actions to address risks and opportunities identified in the organisation’s strategic plans, and planning for changes that may impact the organisation, are the foundation for the processes that deliver the organisation’s objectives.

Support: What’s keeping us upright? Competent people, infrastructure, environment, equipment and knowledge keep organisations upright. Identification, provision and review of resource requirements is not a set and forget task undertaken at the strategic planning stage. Successful delivery of the organisation’s objectives requires resource review during all stages of a project, product or service life cycle.

Operation: How are we related? Whether your organisation is a travelling magic show or a manufacturer of magic wands, delivery of your service, or production of your goods, will be dependent upon inputs and outputs. Identifying, understanding and controlling the relationship between interacting processes within the organisation assists in achieving efficient and effective delivery of the organisation’s strategic plans and objectives.

Performance Evaluation: How did we do? Think SMART; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Tangible. What is the point of pouring energy into strategic plans and organisational objectives if you have no intention of measuring the outcomes? Determining what needs to be measured and monitored, when and how to measure and monitor, and how to analyse and evaluate the results makes all strategic plans and management systems accountable.

Improvement: What could we do better? To quote Oliver Cromwell “He who stops being better stops being good.” Reviewing the effectiveness of the management system and the strategic plans in delivering the organisation’s objectives is a continuous plan, do, check, act cycle. Identified opportunities for improvement and corrective actions in business strategy, marketing initiatives, stakeholder relationships and business results are fundamental.

So next time you are quick to label a Management System as that ‘weird second cousin’ remind yourself that the Business Plan, Marketing Plan and Management Systems are all roots within your organisation’s family tree, and …….. trees without roots fall over.

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What management systems support your organisation’s family tree? Share your thoughts in the comments below.